save the dinosaurs wrong animal!On Wednesday, November 28, Members of San Diego Trout, Allen Greenwood, San Diego County Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Bruce Campbell, Michael Pottorff and the steelhead strike team from the California Department of Fish and Game, met in the Palomar State Park parking lot, among the ashes and turkey and deer tracks, to plan a strategy to avoid the mass extirpation of trout that occurred in the Sweetwater drainage as a result of the Cedar fire.

Fortunately, the waters of Pauma Creek were not boiled out, as in the Upper Sweetwater, with the only survivors of that drainage (possibly) residing in Loveland reservoir downstream (anglers have caught a couple), and the lone survivor in the Chula Vista Nature Center. The fear is that the accumulated ash coating the 1,000 foot walls of Pauma Canyon will wash down with the first rain and choke the survivors to death. The mission will be to explore the canyon, identify waters capable of holding fish above the burn and transfer fish to those locations, to prevent a mass annihilation, should a cloudburst launch a tidal wave of deadly muck. A small emergency school of these fish wil also be housed in the aquarium provided by the San Diego Fish and Wildlife Commission at the Chula Vista Nature Center. Fortunately, we are now permitted to rescue the fish, allowing us the opportunity to create better results than we had while a stranded run of steelhead in the San Mateo perished in our drought and 5 populations of ancient fish perished in the Sweetwater drainage during the Cedar fire, while our hands were bound with red tape.

Pictured at left are Allen Greenwood, Bruce Campbell and 1.) Chris McKibbin, 2.) John O'Brien, 3.) Valerie Taylor, and 4.) Dave Kajtanink of the DFG.

Dangers to the trout abound above and beyond those posed by the Poomacha fire, as evidenced by the well meaning sign to the right. Posted, no doubt, to protect the yellow legged frog, associated with this habitat, but not recorded to be present, the sign , inadvertently, protects ravenous non-native bullfrogs which eat more than their share of young trout, and, if available, yellow legged frogs.

It is our hope that the DFG's team will produce a biological assessment that will result in a biologically prudent rescue plan and signage.

San Diego Trout's Allen Greenwood has compiled his observations and action recommendations for the DFG here

Dwayne Maxwell PhD of the DFG has provided the government's view and measured course of action here.

And, San Diego Trout's Bruce Campbell lobbies for a bit more urgency here.

Trout enthusiast, and long time Pauma Creek fisherman, Mark Wagner, provides some post fire blackwater views of the siltified stream.

Mark follows up with some post rain photos of the creek returning to normal--the verdict is still out to whether "normal" includes a viable fish population. Take a photo hike hp the hill.

And, some good news, as Allen Greenwood concludes a post fire survey: still kicking! still kicking2! Hi All,

With the last rainstorm there is some good news. All of our streams are once again running and the few that still hold our super fighting rainbows will be in great shape for fishing this Spring. Here is a little rundown: Upper San Luis Rey running and clear above the Rey River Ranch, Gomez Creek running and clear, Magee Creek running and very muddy(fires caused heavy sedimentation), Agua Tibia Creek running and very muddy, Frey Creek running and very muddy, Pauma Creek and Lion Creeks running and extremely muddy, Doane Valley Creek running and clear, West Fork of the San Luis Rey River running and clear, Santa Ysabel Creek running and clear, Cedar Creek running and clear, Boulder Creek running and clear, Troy Creek, Long Creek and Kitchen Creek running and clear, Noble Creek running and clear, Pine Valley creek running and some sediment not too bad, Upper Cottonwood Creek running and clear, Cottonwood Creek in the gorge running and clear. Tie some flies and be ready for some great fishing.

Many of the native trout in Pauma are history as the mud flows into the canyon are the worst I have ever seen! This stream and its native rainbows are very important not to just the fishermen but to the very survival of the southern steelhead. There are no other streams of greater importance in SoCal than this one!