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For Immediate Release

December 13, 2017


Nina Erlich-Williams,

O: 510-336-9566, C: 415-577-1153

CalTrout awarded $1.8M to pursue restoration and fish passage projects: $717K to benefit Southern California Steelhead

Combined funding from state and federal agencies to boost fish conservation efforts

San Francisco – Today California Trout announced it will receive $1.8 million in combined grant funding from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Wildlife Conservation Board and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The funds will support five CalTrout projects that will directly improve trout habitat and fish passage, two of which are in Southern California.

“Many of California’s native trout, salmon and steelhead populations are at high risk of extinction,” said Curtis Knight, executive director of California Trout. “These grants support CalTrout’s critical on-the-ground efforts to make a tangible difference in the resilience of these native species.”

Through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Proposition 1 Restoration Grants Program, the CalTrout-led Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition will complete the Rose Valley Lakes System Alternatives Analysis and Feasibility Study. The $194,708 grant will support a restoration project in a prime spring-fed tributary to Sespe Creek. Sespe Creek hosts the most diverse steelhead habitat in the watershed, but has been invaded by predatory, non-native aquatic species that are rapidly out-competing native species, including federally endangered Southern steelhead. The funding will support a study, the first step in an effort to eliminate and prevent further spread of exotic fish species the creek, as well as the development of a plan to remove fish passage barriers, restore riparian and instream habitat, and improve flows.

“The Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition has been working for many years to address invasive species in Sespe Creek,” noted Candice Meneghin, Southern California Conservation Program Manager with CalTrout. “We are thrilled to see this project fully funded, so that we can finally address this threat to endangered Southern steelhead.”

The California Wildlife Conservation Board awarded $522,762 in support of a priority project in Orange County, the I-5 Bridge Array Fish Passage Project on Trabuco Creek.  This grant will allow CalTrout to move forward with a significant fish passage improvement project on Trabuco Creek, a major tributary to San Juan Creek in Orange County. CalTrout will construct and test large-scale physical models of a project that will benefit endangered Southern steelhead by improving habitat in a stream channel that runs below five bridges and includes a concrete flood control channel. CalTrout will continue to move the project toward construction in 2021.

Other CalTrout projects that received significant grants this month include:

  • Little Shasta Fish Passage Project: $474,114 Proposition 1 award that will support the completion of a fish-passage improvement project for Shasta River colo salmon, which are listed federally as a threatened species.
  • Mill-Shackleford Creek Fish Passage Restoration Project: This project will also address fish passage issues in the Mt. Shasta area using a $522,949 Proposition 1 award.
  • Upper Shasta Coho Habitat Restoration: – Using a $175,255 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Klamath River Coho Salmon Enhancement Fund, CalTrout will restore coho salmon habitat on the Upper Shasta River.

About CalTrout: Since 1971, California Trout has been leading scientific research and on-the-ground restoration projects to address complex resource issues while balancing the needs of wild fish and people. CalTrout co-authored “State of Salmonids II: Fish in Hot Water” with researchers from UC Davis.


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