Since our great lead writer (and resident fish and wildlife biologist) Tim Hovey described the depressing yet hopeful state of steelhead runs in Southern California rivers, perhaps Hovey’s story provided some mojo.
The Ventura County Star’s Cheri Carlson reported that a steelie (pictured above) was spotted in the area this winter. Here’s more from Carlson:
A team doing a fish survey in late January spotted a Southern steelhead in a creek at Leo Carrillo State Park, near the Ventura-Los Angeles county line.
Biologists hadn’t spotted any of the federally-endangered fish in the area over the past five years of drought. Sightings are rare even during wet years.
“We’re very excited that we saw one,” said Rosi Dagit, a senior conservation biologist at the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.
But while the sighting was good news, it wasn’t even close to signaling a comeback.
“We just know that this one lonely fish made it back to the creek, which is really encouraging,” Dagit said.
But it’s too soon to say whether the fish will be able to successfully spawn or that others will follow.
What biologists do know is that Arroyo Sequit is one of the three or four watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains where biologists say the endangered fish have been found.
Any news like this should be considered good news!