Unseen for decades in the LA River, environmentalists continue search for steelhead trout

May 20, 2014

A group of environmentalists spent a morning recently wading in the Los Angeles River in search of Southern California steelhead trout, reported Louis Shagun in the Los Angeles Times.

The endangered species hasn't been found in the LA River since 1938, around the time the waterway was lined with concrete for flood control. The volunteers hope to document a steelhead trout in the river in order to trigger greater scrutiny and perhaps tighter regulations to support the species.

"We would know that even though this river has been so heavily degraded, conditions are appropriate for the species' return," said Sabrina L. Drill, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Los Angeles County. "It would give us more hope of saving it from extinction."

The morning search netted trash, algae, baby smelt, a shopping cart and discarded concrete slabs, but no steelhead trout.

"Thanks for giving it a try — but we're officially skunked," said Rosi Dagit, senior biologist for the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains. "We'll try again later."

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist