CDFW Plans Public Meetings on Water Use and Native Fishery Impacts in South Bay Coastal Counties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in collaboration with the Santa Cruz and San Mateo Resource Conservation Districts and the State Water Resources Control Board, will hold two public meetings to address how residents can contribute to water conservation efforts that will help save native fisheries. The streams in this area are home to the last remaining coho salmon populations south of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

Wednesday, June 1

6:30 to 8 p.m.
Resource Center for Non Violence
612 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz (95060)

Thursday, June 2

6:30 to 8 p.m.
Pescadero Native Sons Community Hall
112 Stage Road
Pescadero (94060)

The watersheds of Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties constitute the southern end of the natural range of coho salmon in California. Ongoing drought conditions were not significantly affected by this winter’s rains, and coho and steelhead trout in this region continue to face severe obstacles to population recovery. Wild coho salmon are drastically depleted – from San Gregorio and Pescadero creeks in coastal San Mateo County to the San Lorenzo River and Soquel and Aptos creeks in Santa Cruz County.  Reduced stream flow has resulted in a series of disconnected pools, trapping juvenile fish and exposing them to increased threats.

The meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss the reliability of the local water supply and offer information to residents who are not on municipal water supply. Landowners in coastal watersheds that depend on water from wells or stream diversions will learn what they can do to reduce their impacts on threatened or endangered native fish species, as well as comply with state water use and reporting requirements.

Grant funding opportunities that may be available for water conservation and water storage projects will also be reviewed at these public meetings.

“Water conservation in these critical watersheds needs to be a daily commitment,” said Eric Larson, an environmental program manager with CDFW. “The information provided at these meetings will illustrate water conservation methods that have been effective in similar settings.”

Media Contacts:
David Moore, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 766-8380
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944