PROTECTION STATUS: Endangered
YEAR PLACED ON LIST: 1997
CRITICAL HABITAT: Approximately 673 miles of stream habitat in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties designated in 2005
RECOVERY PLAN: None
RANGE: The Santa Maria River from San Luis Obispo County, California, to the United States-Mexico border
THREATS: Dams, water diversions, urban development, livestock grazing, and gravel mining
POPULATION TREND: An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 steelhead once spawned in southern California rivers, but the recent runs in four major river systems were made by fewer than 500 adults total. Steelhead could once be found in 46 watersheds in the region, but only remained in 17 to 20 drainages by 2002. Many of these creeks and rivers now sustain only the resident form of steelhead, rainbow trout. Anadromous steelhead currently occur in only four large river systems in southern California — the Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Ventura, and Santa Clara rivers.