Public Invited to Comment on Petition to List Southern California Steelhead as Endangered

Source: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has initiated a status review for Southern California steelhead and invites data or comments on a petition to list Southern California steelhead as an endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Southern California steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are found in streams from the Santa Maria River at the southern county line of San Luis Obispo County down to the U.S.-Mexico border. Southern California steelhead as defined in the CESA petition include both anadromous (ocean-going) and resident (stream-dwelling) forms of the species below complete migration barriers in these streams.

Major threats to Southern California steelhead include destruction, modification and fragmentation of habitat due to anthropogenic water use (i.e., dams or diversions for the purposes of providing water for human use) and climate change impacts like increased stream temperatures and intensified drought conditions. Southern California steelhead represent an important steelhead diversity component in California due to their unique adaptations, life histories and genetics.

On June 14, 2021, California Trout submitted a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to list Southern California steelhead as an endangered species under CESA. On April 21, 2022, the Commission accepted that petition for consideration. On May 13, 2022, the Commission provided public notice that Southern California steelhead is now a candidate species under CESA and as such, receives the same legal protection afforded to an endangered or threatened species. The listing petition and CDFW’s petition evaluation report are available on the Commission website.

CDFW invites data or comments on the petitioned action, including Southern California steelhead ecology, genetics, life history, distribution, abundance, habitat, the degree and immediacy of threats to its reproduction or survival, the adequacy of existing management or recommendations for management of the species. Data or comments may be submitted via email to Please include “Southern California Steelhead” in the subject line. Submissions may also be sent to:

CDFW Fisheries Branch
Attn: Southern California Steelhead
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, California 94244-2090

Submissions must be received by Sept. 30. CDFW has 12 months to review the petition, evaluate the best available scientific information relating to Southern California steelhead and make a recommendation to the Commission. The Commission will then place receipt of the report on the agenda for the next available Commission meeting. The report will be made available to the public for that meeting, where the Commission will schedule the petition for further consideration.

For more information on the petition, please visit the Commission website.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. You may not be aware, but the Pittman Robertson act is responsible
    for the largest amount of funding for protecting and nourishment of
    wildlife in the United States. If you are a sports shooter or a hunter, a
    portion of every firearm purchase by you, your father and your
    grandfather and every cartridge fired, has provided support of wildlife
    through this long-standing law.
    This law was signed in 1937 by Franklin D. Roosevelt and did not
    establish a new tax, but diverted an existing 11% excise tax on rifles,
    shotguns, and ammunition as well as a 10% tax on pistols. This has
    raised millions in support of wildlife, and sportsmen gladly paid this as
    their personal contribution to the protection of wildlife for the past
    eight-five years. Now House Bill HB 8167 has been co-sponsored by
    our congressman, Jim Banks that would gut this program.
    If ever you were to write your congressman, now is the time.
    Ask them not only to withdraw support of HB 8167, but to become
    an advocate for this program.

    • Our congressman isn’t the problem…55 GOP house members want to repeal the Pittman Robertson Act because it taxes guns. Even though the tax money is often used on restoring populations that hunters end up shooting. Kind of a weird position to take if you ask me, it removes the long term sustainability of one of the only valid reasons to have a gun in the first place. It’s almost like they don’t know what they’re doing…weird.

    • Agricultural use of water needs to be seriously reevaluated. Farmers use about 80% of CA water and any mitigation of water use needs to involve them. Why are farmers in the Central Valley growing alfalfa for cattle in the Middle East to eat? Because the current input costs (water, labor, transport) don’t even come close to what they should cost. If the GOP wants a free market, let them have a free market. We don’t have enough water for farmers to live off govt subsidies and grow ridiculous cash crops like alfalfa and almonds for almond milk (most water intensive crop in CA, totally ridiculous).

  2. Drought is normal in this part of the continent. LA and Southern California only expanded because of imported water from decades back. Each time an imported water solution comes into play the population explodes to stretch the resource. This is around the world. The UN now estimates the world population at close to 8 billion with growth to 10 billion in the next couple of decades. But bottom line is that CA agriculture by big corporations uses more than 80% of state water. If these mega farms would simply exert better control over their use of this resource there would be plenty of water for people and nature without this squabbling.

Vegetation Fire 101 at Tajiguas

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