Carpinteria Creek (data source Esri)
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Carpinteria Creek

General Information:

Carpinteria Creek is a high priority system for steelhead recovery action in Southern California. As with many Southern California streams, the lower and middle reaches of Carpinteria Creek has been impacted by urbanization of the watershed. The main obstacles to Carpinteria Creek steelhead recovery are loss of habitat, caused by reduced water availability and urban/agricultural encroachment on the riparian corridor. Encroachment has changed the streamside vegetation and the flow dynamics within the stream, which has led to failing banks and increased erosion. A bright spot is the removal of almost all of the man-made barriers to steelhead migration. South Coast Habitat Restoration and Santa Barbara County Flood Protection, department partners, have worked hard since 2004 to remove all of the full passage barriers to migration in the watershed and improve in-stream habitat whenever possible. More recently the California Department of Fish Wildlife (CDFW), in association with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and other partnering organizations, has begun monitoring on steelhead abundance, spawning behavior and habitat availability. Currently, habitat assessment and snorkel surveys are being conducted and a DIDSON sonar camera deployment site has been established. This camera will enable staff to obtain information on migration timing and duration, size estimates of individual fish and direction of travel for each fish that passes the monitoring station. These activities are made possible through funding provided by CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program.

Snorkel survey, Carpinteria Creek

Conducting a snorkel survey to count fish in low water conditions in Carpinteria Creek - 2013.
Courtesy of Heidi Block (PSMFC)


Carpinteria Creek - 2013
Courtesy of Chris Lima, CDFW