Three adult steelhead fish underwater.
Steelhead trout drift in an Oregon stream. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

State lists Southern California steelhead trout as endangered

This month, California's Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) voted to list Southern California steelhead trout as an endangered species. The Southern California steelhead population is one of eight kinds of steelhead trout in California. Tens of thousands of Southern California steelhead trout once inhabited rivers and streams in Southern California, but these numbers have declined dramatically over recent decades and the populations are now in danger of extinction. Numerous factors put Southern Steelhead at critical risk, including urbanization, estuary alteration, and major dams. Removal of river and stream barriers to free up spawning areas will be key to protecting these populations. 

“These are populations that are experiencing the warmest conditions, really on the leading edge of climate change effects. And then you layer on top of that just how densely populated Southern California is. All of these steelhead streams in Southern California are extremely impacted.” – Andrew Rypel, professor of fish ecology and Director of UC Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences

Read the news item: "Steelhead trout, once thriving in Southern California, are declared endangered," by Ian James. April 23, 2024.

Learn about Southern Steelhead

Secondary Categories

CWS News