TU's South Coast Chapter president Bob Blankenship helps search for southern steelhead in the lower Los Angeles River.
This weekend's edition of the Los Angeles Times featured a terrific story by ace reporter Louis Sahagun on the search for southern California steelhead in the lower Los Angeles River.
South Coast chapter president Bob Blankenship represented TU on the project, and a photo of Blankenship hoisting a trophy-size "something" from the river mouth is the lead image for the article.
The mouth of the Los Angeles River, near Long Beach -- degraded as it is -- remains potential southern steelhead habitat. Steelhead flourished throughout the Los Angeles River before it was turned into a concrete flood control channel in 1938. And a few steelhead still appear each winter in other highly urbanized coastal streams in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, proof of the ability of the species to persist, if given half a chance.
TU's South Coast and San Diego chapters have been working for more than two decades to help recover the southern steelhead, one of the rarest salmonids in North America. Today, the southern steelhead is listed as Endangered, with only an estimated 500 adults remaining in streams between Point Conception (near Santa Barbara) and the U.S.-Mexico border.
Drew Irby, former chair of TU's California Council and a long-time member of the South Coast chapter, said of the project and Times article, "Bob braved the 100 degree heat, tried his best to get some kind, any kind of fish on his line, and succeeded in catching a.... well, you just have to read the article."
Here is a link to the Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-adv-steelhead-search-20140517-story.html