Santa Clara River Tributaries Overview

The Santa Clara River watershed drains approximately 1,600 square miles in northern Los Angeles County and southern Ventura County, in southern California. The river’s headwaters are located in the San Gabriel Mountains. From there, the Santa Clara River flows in a westerly direction, approximately 116 miles to the Pacific Ocean, near the city of Ventura. Prior to the 1950’s, the Santa Clara River supported a large run of Southern California Coast Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). However, the development of flood control and water resources infrastructure, agriculture production, and urban expansion collectively adversely impacted watershed conditions and thus steelhead have been reduced to a remnant run size. Nevertheless, the watershed, particularly several of its northern tributary streams contains historical attributes favoring suitable spawning and rearing conditions, making the watershed a focus for regional steelhead recovery efforts.

Based on the need to evaluate habitat conditions in tributaries of the Santa Clara River where steelhead may persists or could potentially exist, the California Department of Fish and Game, in conjunction with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, conducted stream inventory surveys of Hopper Creek and Pole Creek and produced stream inventory reports. While not intended to be watershed assessments these documents still provide important data and information concerning the stream habitat, potential fish passage barriers, riparian condition, and general biological observations. A general overview of Hopper Creek and Pole Creek and links to their inventory reports are listed below:

View of the Santa Clara River valley with the town of Fillmore.

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Santa Clara River, upstream from the town of Fillmore.