Steelhead, Coho Spotted In Santa Cruz Mountains’ Mill Creek

Great news from Mill Creek, a coastal stream in the Santa Cruz Mountains, has some new aquatic residents. Here’s more from the report:

Aquatic ecologists with the Sempervirens Fund, one of the conservation groups that co-owns the 8,532-acre forest known as San Vicente Redwoods, found 12 juvenile steelhead trout and 15 federally endangered coho salmon fry swimming in the creek last month. It was the first time the latter species had ever been recorded there. 

Previously, the deserted dam had been preventing the migratory fish from swimming upstream. It also trapped the granite sediment that provided spawning beds for salmon. 

“We didn’t expect to see any coho in Mill Creek,” the Sempervirens Fund’s senior land stewardship manager Ian Rowbotham said in a news release, which noted that a coho salmon was the very first fish they found in the creek that day. “They had never been documented there before.”