The amazing Steelhead Trout, a salmon that weighs over ten pounds, reaches 30 inches in length, lives in the Pacific Ocean, spawns in local creeks from the Santa Maria River to Mexico, is one of most endangered fish species in U.S.
As an “indicator species,” steelhead are a “canary in the coal mine” telling us the environment and watersheds on which our communities depend are failing. Wildlife officials estimate that there are only 500 ocean-going steelhead remaining in southern California – about 1-2% of the historic population. But after five years of drought, only seven were seen in 2017, three of which were in Santa Barbara streams.
Restoring waterways to recover steelhead has become a priority for the environment in general and watersheds in particular.