Key Issue: Steelhead Habitat
The San Francisquito Creek watershed in California’s Bay Area runs through Stanford University’s campus on its way to San Francisco Bay. Historically it was home to healthy runs of steelhead (in addition to salmon). However, this ecosystem was drastically changed when the Spring Valley Water Company erected the Searsville Dam in 1892 to create an impoundment for potable water storage.
The Puget Sound steelhead , Oncorhynchus mykiss, was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2007, prompting the initiation of recovery planning. Recovery planning requires, ultimately, the identification of conditions under which the “evolutionary significant unit” (ESU) can be considered to have been recovered and subsequently removed from the list of threatened and endangered species (“de-listed”).
Tell Stanford Provost and Acting President John Etchemendy that you support the responsible removal of Searsville Dam in Palo Alto, California and help to return wild steelhead to their historic spawning habitat in the Corte Madera Creek.
We recommend the following six books to help you get started in understanding the plight of wild steelhead and salmon in the Pacific Northwest and the complicated nature of their management.
Provides a penetrating account of a once-rich steelhead trout stream threatened by careless logging practices. Focusing on Oregon’s North Umpqua River Basin, the film portrays the impact of clearcut logging on the small tributary streams where most of the river’s steelhead are spawned and reared. The subtle interdependence of land and water and the disruption of the aquatic environment caused by stream-clogging debris and warming water are dramatically presented. Hal Riney and Dick Snider, advertising executives and fishermen, produced the film and donated it to Oregon State University. It was widely distributed and viewed in Oregon and throughout the United States through the 1970s and was influential in changing logging practices in the Northwest.
Bill McMillan was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Wild Steelhead Coalition (WSC) in early 2010 to continue research and develop an accurate historical baseline of what steelhead/salmon numbers and distribution were in the Columbia Basin prior to Euro-American contact. Funds for the WSC grant were secured from Patagonia’s World Trout Grant program. A previous update regarding this project was featured in the November 2010 issue of The Adipose.