What’s Next For Southern California Steelhead Recovery Hopes

Despite the good news that after.a long battle the California Fish and Game Commission has voted to make Southern California steelhead an endangered species. But will the hard work of California Trout and other organizations bring a once vibrant Southland anadromous fish bring them back to Southern California?

A Los Angeles Times report ponders the state of the fish and the hope that they can somehow make a miraculous recovery. Right now it seems that the quest is nearly starting from scratch:

Only 177 Southern California steelhead have been seen in the last 25 years, he says.

Endangered? They’re practically extinct.

“I get a lot of students from Southern California and many have no idea about these beautiful creatures that are unique to the region. They’ve never heard of them before,” says Andrew Rypel, a UC Davis fish biologist. “This is a species that’s really on the clock toward extinction. If things continue, it may last only 30 to 50 years — and maybe that’s even generous.”

CalTrout is among those organizations that is working hard to give the Southern steelhead a chance to recover from its nearly wiped out state.

“The conservation goal is to re-establish Southern California steelhead populations in high priority rivers through fish passage barrier removal, non-native species removal, habitat improvement, wild native trout preservation, and community engagement. We employ comprehensive process-based restoration practices that build upon this species’ incredible ecological resilience,” CalTrout says on its Southern Steelhead Coalitions page.