Highway 76 – Pauma Creek Fish Passage

Highway 76 - Pauma Creek Fish Passage

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Project Goal:

Remove the only total fish passage barrier between a robust rainbow trout population in Pauma Creek and the Pacific ocean.

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Project Stages



Conceptual Design



Estimated Completion Date:


Project Funders


Fish Affected:


Project Description

The Pauma Creek rainbow trout have a direct route to the ocean but are blocked by a total fish passage barrier at Highway 76 crossing the Pauma Creek tributary to the San Luis Rey River. The San Luis Rey is a high priority steelhead recovery river and has the most southern native rainbow trout population of steelhead lineage in the United States. Their re-connection with the ocean is a feasible design and implementation project on a state highway bridge being pursued by Caltrans. Due to the critically low numbers of steelhead in Southern California, and the contribution that resident rainbows can make to anadromy, the Pauma Creek and WF San Luis Rey trout populations are critical resources for steelhead recovery.

Project Partners:

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife