In an important step towards steelhead recovery in California, NOAA Fisheries has released the final Steelhead Recovery Roadmap for Southern California. This from the NOAA site:
“This final plan is a roadmap to recovery for one of the most endangered fish species in the United States,” said Penny Ruvelas, NOAA Fisheries Service Area Office Supervisor for Protected Resources in Southern California. “It will likely take decades to restore these fish to the coastal rivers and streams where they once thrived, but this plan is a very significant step in achieving that goal.”
It is estimated this Southern California distinct population segment of steelhead once numbered over 45,000 but has since declined to less than 500 and was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1997. The ESA requires a Recovery Plan be developed when a species is listed under the statute as either threatened or endangered.
CalTrout is heavily involved in Southern California steelhead recovery efforts (click here for a list of recent posts about Southern California).
This is only the start of the process, but we’re already seeing a lot of attention paid to steelhead recovery efforts.