The Santa Barbara City Council authorized spending up to $100,000 to hire a water rights attorney to help negotiate a more robust Steelhead trout recovery program for the Santa Ynez River, a major source of the South Coast’s water supply. Currently, the Cachuma Dam is a major obstacle to Steelhead returning to prime spawning grounds upstream. By hiring a water rights specialist, the council is hoping to persuade both the federal government-which owns the dam-and the other municipalities that depend on the dam for their water to cooperate more. More specifically, councilmembers are hoping to gain consensus for some program-like trap-and-truck-that helps get the endangered fish up and over the dam according to the rhythms of their natural spawning cycles.
For steelhead to recover, the young must get past Bradbury Dam.
Santa Barbara Spends to Save Steelhead
Water Rights Attorney to Develop Improved Recovery Program for Species