WF San Luis Rey Native Trout Protection

WF San Luis Rey Native Trout Protection

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Project Goal:

The goal of this project is to protect one of the last and most southern native rainbow trout populations of steelhead lineage in Pacific coast of United States.

Increased native rainbow trout numbers, decreased non-native aquatic species such as bullhead

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Estimated Completion Date:


Fish Affected:

Project Description

The West Fork San Luis Rey River in San Diego County has one of two known remaining native rainbow trout populations of coastal steelhead descent in extreme Southern California. This population is in a remote canyon of the San Luis Rey River, identified as a high priority steelhead recovery watershed in the Southern California Steelhead Recovery Plan (NMFS, 2012). This project will remove non-native aquatic species that inhibit native trout survival, and perform genetic studies to identify important trends in inbreeding depression. Non-native aquatic species removal by CDFW in 2019 was successful in reducing the number of bullhead and, coupled with sufficient rainfall that year, led to a more stable native trout population.

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