Monday, January 6, 2014

A Southern Californian Riparian Stream and an Amazing Video on Southern Steelhead

I want to share some photos of stream I took recently. The photos are of the Portrero John Creek located in the Sespe wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest. Although the larger stream it flows into the Sespe is actually fairly dry in several areas this time of year the Portrero John Creek maintains consistent flows, even during the persistent drought we are experiencing in California. The Sespe watershed, as I have discussed before may have served as one of the last refugia of native goldern beavers in southern California prior to their extirpation. Reintroduction of beaver into such creeks makes a lot of sense in my opinion. You will notice good riparian vegetation- willows, cottonwood - and year round flow- thats all a beaver needs. In addition to the sometimes ephemeral flows in these mountains there are also abundant predators - cougars, black bears, coyotes, bobcats - that offer much challenge in terms of establishing populations. Also keep in mind the creek is at several thousand feet of  elevation and the area is often snow covered this time of year- but it has been a warm, dry winter so far in socal.

Also if there are any botanical people out there let me know what this plant I kept finding under oaks and pines is. I think it might be a spikemoss but I can't find any pics of types that look like it found in these parts of the Transverse Range.

And finally an awesome video by cal-trout about the challenges facing steelhead restoration with beautiful clips of several southern Californian streams and rivers. Enjoy.

Southern California Steelhead: Against All Odds

Steelhead. Sespe Creek. 1911
Steelhead. North of Fillmore  April 1983

Steelhead. North of Fillmore April 1917

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