The Southern Steelhead, San Diego's version of the Coastal Rainbow, distinguished by morphological parr markings, suggesting its kinship with its evolutionary predecessor, the Red Band Trout. This rendering is of a specimen observed in Pauma Creek, a tributary of the San Luis Rey River.
The Partially Armored Three-Spined Stickleback, below, representative of specimens found in Pine Valley Creek, a tributary of the Tijuana River. Formerly found throughout our drainages, these fish are now found in but a few isolated spots.
And, the Arroyo Chub, below, once widely used as a bait fish, but now all but extirpated from the County. This rendering reflects the appearance of specimens found in Rainbow Creek, a tributary of the Santa Margarita River.
. . .and look what we have here! Although not a target species of San Diego Trout's rehabilitation project(s), the Pacific Lamprey Eel comprises the fourth fish in San Diego's inventory of five (5) native freshwater fish--the Desert Pupfish, being the fifth. With no reports of this fish in our waterways for decades, and with only a possible sighting, in a Mexican trout stream, two years ago, the Pacific Lamprey was believed to be extirpated in all waterways from Ventura County south. However, during their routine toxic substances monitoring program in the San Luis Rey River, a party comprised of DFG biologist Jack Linn, SDSU student Neil Kooiman, and California Regional Water Quality Control Board Environmental Specialist, Linda Pardy, actually found a young Pacific Lamprey, confirming not only the presence of Lamprey Eels, but their renewed spawning and reproduction in our waters. The return of a fish, believed to be regionally extinct, bodes well for those wishing to see the return of fish still hanging on. View the welcome return of Pacific Lamprey Eels to San Diego. This specimen was observed and photographed near the Fousatt Road crossing in the center of Oceanside!
Photos Courtesy of California State Parks