Santa Ynez River (data source Esri)
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Santa Ynez River

General Information:

Besides being an important watershed for water supply, the Santa Ynez River is key for Southern California steel¬head population. Recently, the Department collaborated with the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board (Board) which operates Bradbury Dam in partnership with the United States Bureau of Reclamation. To supplement the Board's ongoing monitoring program, the Department will be placing a sonar camera downstream of one of the Board's trap stations to validate fish counts and to enumerate fish that may be missed by the trapping operations during high flow conditions. Jointly, the Department and the Board hope to improve the accuracy of counts of ocean run fish entering the Santa Ynez River and its tributaries. The initial challenge has been designing a mounting system for this deeply incised channel that will withstand high flow events but allow operation without putting staff at risk. This in-house design, if successful, will have applications to areas with similar site constraints and safety issues.


Southern California steelhead from Mission Creek
(Santa Barbara County). Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries.