Santa Barbara steelhead [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Santa Barbara steelhead

03-18-2006, 01:19 AM
I recently traveled to Santa Barbara and noticed dozens of funky colored 5' fish on the main shopping drag, perched on poles 10' off the ground. As it turns out, I had missed the steelhead festival by a few weeks:

03-18-2006, 04:39 PM
The legendary Nelson trout? Supposed to be more than happy in 70 degree water... tough fish. beautiful fish.

03-18-2006, 04:42 PM
That is an excellent article! If we only put the thought into it beforehand think of the savings in dollars and cents.

I hope those who are making a difference down there succeed - long live the Santa Barbara steelhead!

03-20-2006, 08:39 PM
Not Santa Barbara, but I volunteered to help CalTrout with a fish trap for monitoring steelhead in Malibu Creek about 18-20 years ago. Haven't really followed what's going on down there since.

Interesting thing was that the steelhead were holding on partly because of an upstream golf course, which required lots of water. They used secondary or tertiary treated water, and the golf course watering helped maintain higher minimum flows, thereby helping out the fish.


Todd Ripley
03-21-2006, 02:24 PM
After college I ended up living in Santa Barbara for a couple of years...'93 and '94.

The twelve year drought had just ended...the Santa Ynez river, which is dammed to create Lake Cachuma, the reservoir that provides water for Santa Barbara, had not met the ocean for several years before that. In the past, it had supported steelhead.

After the rains filled the reservoir, the river hit the ocean for the first time in something like eight years...and mysterious four and five pound "trout" were all of a sudden being caught by trout fishermen! I saw some of the pics of the fish, and they were definitely steelhead.

It's a pretty amazing animal that can wait out eight years without a river and start returning when the water does.

Fish on...


P.S. I was just down there last week, and I, too, saw the big fish sculptures down on State Street...pretty cool.