Volunteers from Santa Cruz Fly Fishing club were out last month getting wet and dirty to help our local Trout Unlimited chapter. Tim Frahm, Central Coast Steelhead Coordinator for Trout Unlimited has been working on a project on Little Arthur Creek—a tributary of the Pajaro River—in an ongoing effort to improve and sustain steelhead habitat. Little Arthur Creek contains the best remaining spawning habitat for native steelhead in the upper Pajaro River system. One of the obstacles to steelhead moving upstream is a dam on the creek that is slated to be removed in 2024. The dam does have a crude retrofitted fish ladder that does not look to be effective. Another problem with the dam is that it collects debris on the upstream side—especially during heavy rain events. These two issues make it very difficult—if not impossible—for migration of steelhead further upstream.
Six of our club members showed up with shovels, picks, saws and other assorted tools to remove all sorts of wooden obstacles—small and large—to open up the flow of the stream for passage of fish beyond the dam prior to its removal. After a few hours of vigorous effort, we were able to accomplish our task. It was rewarding to spend the morning with my fellow fly anglers trying to help in a worthy cause to restore native fish in a local watershed. Thanks to Kevin Murdock, Kevin Morrison, Tommy Polito, Barry Burt and Jerry McKeon from Santa Cruz Fly Fishing. Also, thanks to Tim Frahm and Chris Fischer from Trout Unlimited Steinbeck Chapter for inviting us. I hope we can continue our our involvement in bringing back these iconic native fish. Trout Unlimited is one of the organizations our club supports with contributions thanks to your membership, raffle purchases and fundraiser participation.
Posted on November 29th, 2023