Friends of the Los Angeles River Partners with Stillwater Sciences for State of the River 4 - The Sepulveda Basin Fish Study

Los Angeles, CA – Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) is partnering with Stillwater Sciences, a watershed science and ecosystem restoration firm, to conduct fish research in the Los Angeles River for State of the River 4 – The Sepulveda Basin Fish Study. This is the fourth in a series of studies FoLAR is conducting along the entire 51-mile run of the Los Angeles River following this year’s successful State of the River 3 – The Long Beach Fish Study.

The Study will compile information on fish species, relative abundance, aquatic habitat conditions, and toxic contaminant loads in the Los Angeles River within the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, with results expected by 2017. During the study FoLAR will engage local anglers in citizen science to expand the study’s reach. “Citizen science is critical so we can create a culture of investment and stewardship around the River,” said the project manager William Preston Bowling.

This study will establish a baseline for lower, middle, and upper Los Angeles River fish, fish habitat, and fish health. as part of a watershed-wide effort to address aquatic resources, fisheries, and wildlife in the Los Angeles River and its tributaries, Stillwater Sciences will work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Council for Watershed Health, City and County of Los Angeles, and others, to identify restoration opportunities for native fish and wildlife. 

Rosi Dagit, Biologist from the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, and Sabrina Drill, Natural Resources Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, will lead the effort to collect and catalog fish species in the Sepulveda Basin. They will be joined by fisheries biologists from Stillwater Sciences and local anglers. Dr. Richard Gossett at California State University, Long Beach will conduct analyses of fish tissue to determine contaminant loads of Mercury, PCBs, and other contaminants of human health concern.

In addition to the main study, FoLAR and Stillwater Sciences will conduct follow up research to create an updated version of 2008’s State of the River 2 – The Fish Study of the Glendale Narrows. This update will determine if the number of species and the health of the Glendale Narrows fish has improved since 2008 and to identify restoration opportunities for native fish and wildlife.

FoLAR and Stillwater Sciences are excited to be embarking as partners on this study to develop an updated baseline of lower, middle, and upper Los Angeles River fish, their health and relative abundance, and habitat conditions that will help identify targeted restoration opportunities for native fish and wildlife in the Los Angeles River Watershed.

“We dream about welcoming the steelhead trout home again,” said FoLAR President Lewis MacAdams “to get there we have got to gather down to the River and ask the fish how they’re doing.”

(FoLAR) Friends of the Los Angeles River:
 
FoLAR is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 1986, whose mission is to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship.
 
Effective advocacy, education, collaboration and imagination can accomplish great things. FoLAR knows first-hand that urban restoration requires creativity, technical knowledge and tenacity.  But, FoLAR’s goals, while vast and visionary, are also undeniably attainable.

For more information, visit www.folar.org.

Full Press Release