Wendy Katagi and Tim Brick
Photo credit: John Tran
September 6, 2018 — The "Native Fish in the Los Angeles River" Forum at the LA River Center and Gardens took place on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. More than eighty people from diverse groups and stakeholders attended the late afternoon event.
Tim Brick, Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, welcomed the crowd. He spoke of the importance of science-based planning and including the tributaries for real river restoration. He stated that native fish are the real indicator of river health.
Wendy Katagi, Senior Manager for Watershed and Ecosystem Restoration Services of Stillwater Sciences, served as emcee of the event and discussed the status and potential for native fish recovery on the LA River. She sang a beautiful and inspiring song, "Steelhead Run."
Mark Capelli is the Recovery Manager of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mark spoke about the federal recovery program for the Southern Steelhead. He has recently inspected the Arroyo Seco tributary and found very good conditions for trout restoration despite the recent dry conditions.
Nathan Holste of the US Bureau of Reclamation in Denver made the featured presentation on "Flow Ecosystems in Confined Urban Rivers - What Can Be Done in the LA River." Nathan discussed various approaches to create better conditions for fish in the channelized part of the river just south of downtown. Using the LA River as the pilot site, he sought to answer the basic question: "Can ecosystem features be designed within urban flood control channels to increase habitat values without significantly raising flood stage?"
AJ Keith, Senior Aquatic Ecologist & Fisheries Biologis of Stillwater Sciences, reviewed several restoration projects his firm is involved in the Arroyo Seco, LA River and South Gate.
Scott Cher of the Arroyo Seco Foundation reported on trout scouting in the Arroyo Seco, the work of volunteers to assess fish barriers and stream conditions to better plan fish recovery activities.Sabrina Drill of UC Cooperative Extention reported on fish conditions in the lower river and an analysis of the temperature in vaious sections of the LA River Watershed.
Wendy Katagi also reviewed notes from John O'Brien of CA Fish and Wildlife on what that state agency is doing to improve conditions for fish in Tujunga Canyon and the Arroyo Seco.
A lively panel discussion involving all the presenters closed the event.