NMFS Seeks Public Comment On Draft Plan To Recover Steelhead Trout In Southern California

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Posted by on August 14, 2009 at 21:45:41:

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has requested public input on a draft recovery plan designed to restore and stabilize steelhead trout in coastal streams south of the Santa Maria River to the United States and Mexican border. This area contains a distinct population of steelhead that may have once numbered over 45 thousand but declined to less than 500 and became listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1997.

"This draft plan provides the framework necessary to recover one of the most endangered fisheries species in the United States, and in a region that contains over one-half the human population of California," said Chris Yates, NMFS Supervisor of Protected Resources in Southern California. "It is a challenge that can only be met through participation and collaboration with the public."

The development of a recovery plan is an important first step for the successful rebuilding of species identified as being at risk of extinction. Local knowledge and input from the public on threats or the unique needs of these fish is extremely valuable to ensure the plan is comprehensive and promotes local stakeholder involvement. Workshops planned in both Carlsbad and Santa Barbara, California will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the contents of the draft recovery plan and offer suggestions or public comment before a final recovery plan is completed. NMFS biologists will explain what steps they see as necessary to recover steelhead and to ultimately remove them from the ESA.

The first workshop will be held in Carlsbad, CA on 25 August, 1500 to 1700 HRS at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road. A second will be held on 1 September 1, 1700 to 1900 HRS at the Fess Parkerís Double Tree Resort, 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara.

Public comment and information relevant to this recovery plan must be received by no later than 1700 HRS on September 21, 2009. Email SteelheadPlan.swr@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the email the following: "Comments on Southern California Steelhead Plan." Copies of this draft plan will be provided on a compact disc upon request. Contact Kimberly Speech at 562-980-4006 or email her at Kimberly.Speech@noaa.gov with CD-ROM request for the "Southern California Steelhead Recovery Plan" in the subject line. Electronic copies of this plan are also available on-line at swr.nmfsh.noaa.gov/recovery/So_Cal.htm.

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