By Tim Brick
Arroyo Seco Foundation
It’s time to head to the upper watershed in search of native trout. It has been another disappointingly dry year, but there is water in the stream, and some chance of spotting native fish. The flow in the upper Arroyo stream is now about 2 cubic feet per second, compared to the historic average of 5-6 cfs for this time of year, but 2 cfs is better than it’s been for a while.
WHERE TO LOOK: The most likely place to find native trout would be in the pools up around Switzer’s Falls and in nearby Bear Canyon, but trout sometimes go as far as the mouth of the Arroyo near Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Btw, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association has been doing monthly trail restoration work in the stretch of the Gabrielino Trail between Oakwilde and Switzer’s Camp.)
No one that I know of has claimed to see any native trout since the Station Fire nine years ago. I recently went with Wendy Katagi of Stillwater Sciences to visit the Riverside Corona Resource Conservation District, which has an excellent native fish program. They are willing to help us restore native fish in the Arroyo Seco, but first we need to document their current status, so we need your help now.
Take a hike! It’s always enjoyable in the upper Arroyo, particularly this time of year. Let me know what you find, and thanks for caring!
On Saturday, April 14, join the 29th LA River CleanUp UPPER RIVER by signing up now! Last year, over 10,000 volunteers–individuals and groups from all ages and backgrounds–demonstrated their passion for the LA River by joining the Friends of LA River annual CleanUp.
The 2018 FoLAR CleanUp will be held at nine sites along the river, on April 14, 21 and 28, from 9 a.m. to noon with different locations on each date. Volunteers will receive a FoLAR reusable tote bag and FoLAR t-shirt, and other goodies, have access to entertainment and the LA River Rover mobile visitor and education center.
This year, FoLAR is also coordinating efforts with LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority) to increase the safety and awareness toward cleaning the river and respecting homeless population in the riverbed. To register or get more information please, click here.
And now for some gloom-free news: For all of you who have sorely missed FoLAR’s “Off Tha Hook” fishing throwback on the LA River, rejoice:
Trout Unlimited’s South Coast Chapter, based in OC, has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to provide instruction, equipment, and support for local families to participate in a series of fishing outings on the Los Angeles River this year, according to the TU website.
The funding for this grant comes from the George H. W. Bush Vamos a Pescar Education Fund administered by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. The Vamos a Pescar initiative is focused on engaging Hispanic families in fishing, boating, and conservation activities.
As a consultant on “Off Tha Hook,” I’m super excited kids will once again have a structured way to engage our river and catch the passion we all love. My favorite memories of the three fishing throwback years were of kids — kids rushing down the rip-rap to get to the water; kids learning how to knot a hook on a line; kids wondering where in the heck all the fish went; and — blam — kids hooking up on possibly the first fish of their young lives.
As TU chapter president Robert Blankenship, who was instrumental in “Off Tha Hook” along with FoLAR co-founder Lewis MacAdams and former all-star-staffer William Preston Bowling, said in that same post:
“In an increasingly wired world, fishing encourages Americans young and old to discover and connect with the nature around us, even in highly urbanized settings such as the greater Los Angeles area. This grant funding will allow us to introduce dozens of kids and adults to the wonders of fishing who may never have had such opportunity.”
Events begin in May, including one on a no-fishing-license-required day, July 7. Read the post for more information.
See you on the river, Jim Burns