The Salinas River and other coastal streams of the central coast are important steelhead habitats.
Before the construction of barriers, dams and diversion of surface water, the Salinas River had a healthy
Steelhead population. By the early 1900's, the river's Chinook Salmon had disappeared and the
Steelhead population had begun to dwindle. The map above shows current and former steelhead
streams in the Salinas River watershed based upon studies conducted in 2002 by the Upper Salinas-Las
Tablas RCD. Green indicates streams where there are current populations of steelhead. Red streams are
former steelhead habitat but no longer have connections (barriers such as dams) to the ocean or lack
adequate surface flow to sustain steelhead. Purple indicates streams where there are occasionally
steelhead present. The black line indicates the boundary of the study area of the US-LT RCD.
According to fisheries biologists, it can take a Steelhead over ten days to migrate from Monterey Bay to
some of the tributaries in the Upper Salinas River. In June 2004, the State Water Resources Control
Board accepted the "Upper Salinas River Watershed Action Plan," a framework to achieve the
restoration and conservation of the natural resources and ensure the viability of agriculture
within the watershed. This plan is a watershed management plan for the Upper Salinas River.
Visit the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD at 65 South Main Street, Suite 108, Templeton, California to
obtain copies of the "Upper Salinas River Fisheries Study" and the "Upper Salinas River Watershed
Action Plan or visit their website at www.us-ltrcd.org. The key to ensuring the revival of Steelhead in
the Salinas River is the implementation of the goals and strategies contained in the Upper Salinas
River Watershed Action Plan.
The Steelhead Distribution Map was prepared in 2004 by Adriana Morales, former Biologist of the Upper
Salinas-Las Tablas RCD. Mrs. Morales is now the Umatilla Fish Habitat Biologist, Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife, in Pendleton, Oregon. The map below shows the Salinas River Watershed area. The
shaded area is the upper watershed identified in the map above.
|Salinas River Watershed Map
Click this Link to Find:
Here are three links to more information about Steelhead in the Upper Salinas River:
4,600 square miles
|Steelhead Map of the Salinas River Watershed
Other Northern San Luis Obispo County Coastal Streams
Below is a map showing the migration of steelhead from the Central Coast to the waters
off the Aluetian Islands. After entering the Salinas River in Monterey Bay, the steelhead
continue their migration to spawning beds in the tributaries of the Salinas River.