Posts by Jim Burns

SWC asks for emails in support of Rindge Dam removal


Rindge

(Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

NEEDED BY MARCH 27 – Monday
 
Dear Fly Fishers and fellow conservationists:
Many of you have heard me speak about the Rindge Dam removal. Well now is the time I need you to help me!
Please take a few moments to email a message to the US Army Corp of Engineers expressing support for the Rindge Dam removal project on Malibu Creek. The Environmental Impact Statement and Feasibility Study are outMalibu LPP Placemat_v5 28FEB17 for public comment and now is the time to go on record. Specifically address support for the Locally Preferred Plan (LPP Alt2B2), described in the attachment and link, which removes the entire concrete dam structure and barges the sand and other materials to areas that will benefit it the most. The LPP Alt 2B2 is favored by the local resource agencies and I am choosing to support it. I hope you join me.
Please send a quick email supporting LPP Alt2B2 to
this is the person to address the letter to:
Eduardo T. Demesa 
Chief, Planning Division 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District 

ATTN: Mr. Jesse Ray (CESPL-PDR-L) 

915 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 930 

Los Angeles, California 90017
Your clubs can send in a message, your members can send in a message, all expressing the desire to see the dam removed and miles of habitat opened up for spawning and early growth. This anadromous fish is an endangered species that only 60-70 years ago flourished in our local waters. We can help them recover by taking the time to express your concern for the future of this wonderful fish and support for LPP Alt 2B2.
here is the link to more information:
Please contact me if you have any questions or need assistance to get this done. I’m here to help.
Debbie Sharpton
SWC-IFFF
Conservation VP
debbie.sharpton@gmail.com

Volunteer Opportunity: Second Arroyo Seco ‘trout scout’ scheduled for Thursday


IMG_0786Hi everyone,

Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful spring weather!
I am planning on doing another “trout scout” Thursday, March 23, at 11 a.m. at Gould Mesa.
This survey will again have some pretty simple objectives- to look for fish and to assess habitat conditions.
But, this time we will be doing some GIS of locations of where we see some trout or might see them in the future. And, we will be doing some logging of habitat conditions.
If you want to be be involved let me know. I am still working on the exact location/meet up spot. So, I will send you all another email in the next couple days with the exact location/directions.
Thank you as always for your help and interest in Arroyo conservation. And if you have any questions let me know !
John Goraj (john@arroyoseco.org)

Endangered So. Cal. Steelhead dies before it can reproduce


 

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By Rosi Dagit

Guest Contributor

She was lying on her back on the bottom of a pool, pushed by the flow against a rock. Bruised, scales falling off, scrapes all over her body, she was barely breathing. Gently holding her face into the flow, she gasped for air and hung limply in my hands. I could feel her muscles twitch and contract, but she could not swim at all. When I let her go, she sank to the bottom on her back and rolled with the flow on her side, up against my feet, unable to orient herself.

At 23 inches, she was a full-grown anadromous steelhead that had fought her way upstream against the current in search of a place to spawn. The creek was wondrous after all the winter storms, with steady flows cascading over rocks, providing a background music calling her upstream to find a good place to lay her eggs.

For several minutes we stood and discussed what to do. She was clearly not going to recover and survive, but she was not quite dead yet. It was just heartbreaking to think of losing this fish, one of only four anadromous adults known to have returned to the creeks so far this year in all of Southern California.

What went wrong? How did she get so banged up? Was the flow too strong? Was she too old and tired, having waited too many years for the rains to come?

She died in my hands. I brought her battered body back to teach us and help us learn to tell her story. Her scales will tell us her age. Her DNA will give us insight into her ancestry. She was not one of our tagged fish, but from somewhere else. Only 18 eggs, an empty stomach. The promise of the future for southern steelhead took a big loss today.

Rosi Dagit is a Senior Conservation Biologist for the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Editor’s Note: Dagit and the RCDSMM  have permits to monitor and handle these endangered fish. Only permitted biologists are allowed to handle them. There is a substantial fine per fish (around $25,000) for harassment or taking one from the water, if not permitted.

 

 

 

Quick mends: Endangered steelhead spotted in Ventura


This story from the Ventura County Star has gone viral in the last several days, according to Pasadena Casting Club’s John Tobin. As the club’s conservation editor and an enthusiastic environmentalist, he was excited by the sighting of this endangered species, adding, “this could be the L.A. River!”

steelhead

STEELHEAD STEALTH:  But researchers still spotted this lone fish near the L.A. County-Ventura border. (Courtesy RCDSMM STREAM TEAM)

I share his sentiment and hope that the push to develop the river doesn’t leave out the most important part — a return of Southern California Coast Steelhead.

Of course, after years of drought, spotting a southern steelhead in a creek at Leo Carrillo State Park is a reason for everyone to cheer. Gone are the days of steelhead runs, when an entire industry sprang up to cater to fishermen who traveled to witness and catch these magnificent fish as they made their way from the ocean to their spawning grounds in our local mountains.

“It was so exciting to find an actual steelhead, as they are rare as hens teeth this year,” said Rosi Dagit, team leader and senior conservation biologist for Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, by email. “Only four anadromous adults have been documented thus far, and one died in my hands in Malibu on Wednesday. A lot of future hopes are with this lovely fish and we wish her many babies to help recover the population!”

Picture 1

Twenty-five-inch steelhead trout caught in the Los Angeles River near Glendale, in January, 1940. (Courtesy family of Dr. Charles L. Hogue)

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Water’s flowing, but trout are scarce at Chantry Flat


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A fairly short, but deep pool almost under the first bridge. About 3 feet deep under the mini-waterfall, 8 feet wide, and maybe 12 feet long. (Courtesy Patrick Jackson)

 

By Patrick Jackson

Guest Contributor

On the weekend of Feb. 11, my dad and I went hiking and fishing up through Santa Anita Canyon up to Sturtevant falls. We arrived at Chantry Flat around 8:30 a.m. and reached our first fishing spot around 8:45. After fishing under the bridge for 15 minutes and seeing and catching no fish, we headed to the first dam. Fished here for about 15 minutes, no fish seen or caught. It was a re-occurring pattern for the rest of the hike.

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Here’s the first dam we fished. The pool was very large, and I’m guessing 3-feet-deep in some spots. (Courtesy Patrick Jackson)

I started off the day with a Prince Nymph, but being it was my second time throwing a nymph, I decided to switch to more familiar dry fly fishing at the first dam. With a 7.5 ft. 5/6wt rod, 7.5 ft. leader and a tippet, I tried out a Prince Nymph (not sure if it was exactly that but similar to it), Parachute Adams, Adams, and a California Mosquito fly (all flies were on the small end, Im not exactly sure what size). My dad was primarily fishing with a spinning reel and small artificial lures.

“Trout Scout’ finds water, critical habitat conditions, in Arroyo Seco


By John Goraj
Guest Contributor

Hello all:

I wanted to give you a quick update on the initial “trout scout” that Arroyo Seco Foundation and volunteers did last week at Switzer’s Falls on Feb. 11. Please keep in mind that this first trip was not meant to be a technical, scientific survey, but rather to get a general idea of the habitat conditions for native trout and stream ecology/hydrology at the moment. But, the next few trips will become more technical as time goes on, employing GIS, DNA extraction and using snorkeling and wetsuit gear to look for trout.

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One of several 3-4 foot deep pools we saw as we made our way through the canyon. (Courtesy John Goraj)

We walked about two miles down the trail, stopping several times along the way to survey conditions and look for evidence of life. One thing is for certain — the Arroyo Seco has not flowed this turbulently in several years! I would guess that the streamflow was close to 50-75 cubic feet per second. It was so wonderful to see. We had to jump over the stream on rocks and downed logs several times along the way. There were several three-to-four-foot-deep pools as we made our way through the canyon. Many of these pools possessed some critical habitat features needed for rainbow trout: clean gravel beds; in-stream woody debris and boulders that create additional pools, turbulent, cool water and overhanging vegetation creating cover. Additionally, the strong root systems of white alder and cottonwood trees that line the stream have established solid banks, which is another key component of healthy mountain streams needed to sustain trout species.

Although we did not see any fish this time, the most salient observation I can make right now is that I do believe some trout are living up there. All or most of the necessary habitat conditions are present and I think it’s only a matter of time before we see some fish.

The next survey will focus on going deeper into the Bear Canyon area. I have heard from several anglers that they have seen trout up here prior to the 2009 Station Fire. The combined effects of the fire and the recent five-year drought had made seeing trout in this area improbable. But I don’t think this is case anymore. The Switzer Falls/Bear Canyon area is recovering quickly and now with all the rain and snowmelt, conditions have changed for the better.

Thank you for your interest as always and feel free to email me with any questions or comments at: john@arroyoseco.org.

Volunteer Opportunity: Scout for trout in the Arroyo Seco


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This brown got fooled by a lot of elk hair caddis on a size 14 hook. (Jim Burns)

Hello Stewards,

My name is John Goraj (john@arroyoseco.org). I am emailing you because Tim Brick, managing director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, passed along your info to me.
I am program manager for the native trout restoration project that we are starting now. All of you have expressed interest in wanting to help with our initial fish surveys. Thanks for being involved in this exciting project!
Isn’t it great that all of this rain has caused the Arroyo to flow so abundantly? The time has come to go and look for some fish!
I am planning on doing a scout on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 10 am. If you can make it, meet at the Switzer Falls Trailhead parking lot in the Angeles Crest. This location does require an Adventure Pass or day pass FYI.
If you can’t make it this time, that’s okay. We’ll be going up there several more times this spring. If you have any questions or would like to discuss more with me, you can contact me though the contact info below. I would love to hear any and all suggestions you may have.
Thanks for your time. I look forward to meeting you,