A 30-inch adult steelhead trout in Mission Creek photographed in 2008.

Mark Capelli

A 30-inch adult steelhead trout in Mission Creek photographed in 2008.

Fishing Banned on Sisquoc River

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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The Sisquoc River in Santa Barbara’s backcountry is now off-limits to fishing of any kind, as the California Fish & Game Commission unanimously voted last month to ban the activity until populations of the endangered southern steelhead trout recover.

The species has dwindled to just 1 percent of historic numbers due to dam building and other waterway development in Southern California, and the Sisquoc, which winds through the Los Padres National Forest and feeds the Santa Maria River, should have probably been closed when the species was listed as endangered in 1997.

To correct that oversight, this move was urged by the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara and supported by a number of groups, including the National Marine Fisheries Service. No one spoke in opposition of the closure.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

I applaud the efforts to bring back the steelhead. Lots of projects in our local creeks etc.. to try to bring this fish back. I wonder if they ever can come back due to the perceived changes we are incurring on the environment/weather patterns. Hopefully they start showing up in a few years. I wonder if they ever ran up the Goleta slough?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 12:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The closure of the Sisquoc is a sensible decision; you need steelhead to fish for steelhead! More importantly, restoring a viable population is the right thing to do. The fish is a "local". Of course the Sisquoc should have been closed to avoid overfishing back in 1997--Thank goodness some tenacious people do more than flap their lips when it comes to preserving the wild. Thank you, EDC and Fish and Game!

monarchsrule (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 5:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is terrific news, and yes, it should've been closed to fishing in 1997.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Absurd that they ban fishing when the decline in fish is directly due to dams and other river obstructions.

FightWoo (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

and so also letting folks fish and overfish there is OK since the dams have wrecked it... great logic.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The decline isn't due to fishing so much as blocked historic routes to breeding habitat, water diversion, livestock grazing, and urban development. All of these issues still remain and Steelhead are only 1 of many fish species in the Sisquoc (most of which are plentiful).

The last thing I want to see is the loss of the Steelhead, but banning all fishing is more of an activist/political move that in the end isn't going to help the Steelhead much at all.

Lets attack the real issues here and stop giving in to people who simply don't like the idea of fishing so we can restore the population of Steelhead!

richsbca (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 10:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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