Skip to main content

Why Do We Have to Protect the Steelhead?

Southern California Steelhead, the species living within our watershed, was listed as an endangered species effective October 17, 1997.  As such, the Steelhead is protected by the Endangered Species Act.

 Per the Endangered Species Act, all Federal Departments and Agencies shall:

  • Conserve endangered and threatened species;
  • Utilize their authorities in the furtherance of the purposes of the act; and
  • Cooperate with state and local agencies to resolve water resource issues in concert with conservation

Endangered Species Act Section 7 requires Federal Agency Cooperation:

  • All Federal agencies must utilize their authorities to advance the Endangered Species Act
  • All Federal agencies must insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out is not "destructive or adverse modification of habitat," or "likely to jeopardize the continued existence" of an endangered species. 

Endangered Species Act Section 9 prohibits "Take":

  • "Take" is defined as: "harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct"

As such, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Services (NOAA Fisheries) provides the criteria for the operation of the Robles Fish Passage Facility.

Summary of Operational Guidelines 


The Fish Passage season of operation is January 1 to June 30

Fish Passage Flows

The Fish Passage flows are designed to mimic natural storm flows. The duration of these flows is 10 days with a minimum water flow of 50 cubic feet per second. This volume of water is equal to filling an average residential swimming pool every minute or less. 

Minimum Flow Between Storms

Between storms, the District cannot divert water until fish flows exceed 30 cubic feet per second. 

Join our mailing list