On Monday Oct 19, I presented a proposal for steelhead monitoring to the Tri-county Fish Team and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) representatives. The Matilija Coalition would like to use a Fisheries Restoration Grant to support two years of comprehensive monitoring to compliment the studies that began in 2003 with habitat assessment for the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration project. We have cobbled together DFG and Patagonia funding to support the program for the past 2 years.
The objective of these studies is to establish baseline conditions prior to dam removal and contribute information on the variability of populations for the Steelhead Recovery Planning process.
The key scientific question is the variation in annual populations in the drought-and-flood climate of Southern California, and the ultimate response of fish populations to a large-scale watershed restoration project such as dam removal.