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Stream Habitat and Juvenile Steelhead Monitoring

The County of Santa Cruz Water Resources Program , in partnership with local agencies, monitors stream habitat and juvenile steelhead in four Santa Cruz County watersheds: San Lorenzo , Soquel, Aptos and Corralitos. Local agencies - San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Soquel Creek Water District, City of Santa Cruz, City of Capitola, City of Watsonville and Lompico County Water Agency contribute funding to implement this monitoring program.

The primary goal of this monitoring program is to track habitat conditions and site densities of juvenile steelhead in multiple watersheds throughout Santa Cruz County. This information can be used to track steelhead spawning and rearing habitat conditions, prioritize restoration and conservation efforts, and inform land and water use decisions. This information can provide habitat and juvenile steelhead density information for permitting and monitoring restoration and public works projects.

Summary of Monitoring Methods

Monitoring is conducted in late August through October. On each stream segment of interest, a ½ mile reference reach is habitat-typed to Level III protocols identified in the CDFG Restoration Manual. Within this reference reach, a reference site will be identified that will include the habitat types and basic habitat conditions found throughout the reference reach. When possible, reference sites will repeat sites used in 1981, 1994 or other years of steelhead sampling in San Lorenzo or Soquel watersheds.

Each habitat unit is separated with block nets and electrofished, following a 3-pass depletion protocol. All juvenile steelhead are measured (both standard length and fork length) and checked for NOAA tags in appropriate areas. Numbers of other species collected are noted on data sheets. Additional habitat data is collected for electrofishing sites. Deep pools within mainstream San Lorenzo River sites are snorkeled, following a 3-pass protocol using two divers. All sampling sites are located using GPS, digital photos and flagging.

Juvenile steelhead abundance are reported as densities based on habitat units, sites, and reported as number of fish per unit area as well as number of fish per/100 feet (to compare to earlier fish sampling efforts). Abundance indexes for the reference reach or stream reaches and adult returns indexes have not been calculated since 2005#.

Stream Habitat and Juvenile Steelhead Monitoring Reports


2015 Monitoring Report

2014 Monitoring Report

2013 Monitoring Report

2012 Monitoring Report

2011 Monitoring Report:

2010 Monitoring Report:

2009 Monitoring Report:

2008 Monitoring Report:

2007 Monitoring Report:

2006 Monitoring Report: