As part of the Southern California Steelhead Recovery Project, we are teaming with GSF and San Diego Coast Keepers to monitor water quality in the San Luis Rey River. Coast Keepers was surveying the River every other month through the rainy season and this Cal Trout grant allows us to do the intervening months. San Luis Rey is one of three streams in San Diego County that DF&W believes are potentially viable steelhead streams: San Mateo and Santa Margarita are the other two, but they have invasive and access issues. The project requires 6 to 9 volunteers for one Saturday morning every other month and will sample four sites if possible. Some readings are taken on site, plus samples are carefully preserved and returned to the Coast Keepers laboratory for detailed analysis. The results are available to the public via the State's "CEDEN" database.
Another conservation project we continue to work on is the San Diego River Watershed Monitoring Program sponsored by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB). We helped raise fast money to purchase 14 acres of critical habitat adjacent to Boulder Creek, just below Lake Cuyamacha and are currently working to restore the site and develop a small research area to be used by DF&W, the RWQCB and regional universities in monitoring water quality and fish and wildlife populations. We purchased "state of the art" temperature and disolved oxygen loggers to be used in that effort. In the lower watershed, we are working with the DF&W and RWQCB biologists to do creel surveys, fish population counts and fish toxicity analysis in selected ponds from Lakeside to the estuary near Mission Bay.
Out third and favorite conservation project is maintaining the cattle exclusion fence in Casa Meadow at the south end of the Golden Trout Wilderness. 2014 will be our ninth year of hard work, helping USFS sustain the Golden Trout spawning streams in this beautiful meadow.