California is home to one of the largest and most diverse collection of rare native trout species in the nation. Currently, all of these species are either threatened or endangered.
Native trout and salmon are important for the simple basic reason that each species has survived, evolved and adopted to its native heritage waters over thousands of years. When non-native fish are introduces to an area (i.e. brown trout to a rainbow trout habitat), many problems and issues ‘surface’. Hybridization, disease, elimination of the native fish and native amphibians are but a few of the list of issues.
TUCA has been involved since its beginnings in this state for preserving rare native trout species. Please explore the links above to our current projects and advocacy work.
We need everyone’s on-going support to continue collaborating with resource agencies and other like-minded groups to save them from extinction.
The San Mateo Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean immediately south of San Clemente in northern San Diego County. Historically San Mateo Creek, in the 1940's and earlier had Steelhead runs of hundreds, and in some years thousands of fish. Since then, due to climatic change, drought, urbanization, and agricultural activity within the watershed, there has been a reduction in annual return to the point that Southern Steelhead, south of Malibu Creek, were determined to be extirpated or extinct. In 1999 a student at Saddleback College, going on a lead from his mom, that his dad used to catch Steelhead in San Mateo Creek, went fishing and caught a trout in the lower stream, near the Highway 5 freeway bridge.
Our North Coast Coho Project (NCCP) is a partnership of unprecedented scale and scope. Trout Unlimited, timber, gravel, and wine industry leaders, other private landowners, and state and federal agencies are working cooperatively to restore coho salmon runs in northern California. The NCCP assesses watershed conditions, develops and implements projects to reduce sediment input to streams, installs large woody debris and rocks to diversify instream habitat, and improves fish passage. TU and our partners also conduct fish population monitoring to quantify steelhead, chinook and coho populations. Since 1998, the Project has raised and invested about $9 million for restoration.
Restoration projects have always been the bread-and-butter of TU’s volunteer forces and, the most visible. In 39 states, with over 140,000 members, chapters and councils band together with local resource agencies, community based groups and area scientists to restore and rebuilt habitat for native fish on hundreds of projects totaling thousands of volunteer hours each year.
Restoration, if done in sequence, is essentially phase 3 of 4 of any given long-term watershed conservation plan. If the goals of Protect have been accomplished as well as Reconnect, then Restore naturally follows.