Thanks for the really interesting question!
Steelhead trout live in streams and creeks
from Santa Maria in the Central Coast of
California all the way to the border with Mexico.
As you know, these fish have been declared to
be endangered because of peoples’ alteration of
their habitat, water quality issues, and the
introduction of non-native invasive species.
After a bit of research, I could not find any
mention of steelhead trout being found in the
creeks or wetlands of the Channel Islands. While,
as you mention, there are sources of fresh water
on Santa Cruz Island, they may be too spread out
and too small to support the spawning of
Steelhead are anadromous, meaning that they
are born in fresh water, live in the ocean, and
then return to fresh water to spawn. I speculate
that the relative lack of access to fresh water
streams on the Channel Islands from the ocean
prevents steelhead from spawning on there.
Life, however, can persist and show up in the most
difficult of conditions. So it is possible these
fish are present, but we have not observed it.
More research may be required!
Click Here to return to the search form.