More than 1,000 fish, mostly mullets, were discovered last week floating dead in Malibu Lagoon, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fish die-offs have been widely reported this summer in Florida and the Gulf Coast due to a persistent red algae bloom. Our own die-off in Malibu Lagoon occurred because of high-than-average water temperatures, at least that’s the suspicion of state park scientists.
Scientists also blame hotter-than-average ocean temperatures for the Southland’s muggy conditions this summer. Temperatures have been recorded around 80 degrees F.
Despite all the talk about revitalization and restoration of the Los Angeles River, native fish have often been forgotten, yet they are critical to the long-term health and resilience of the river.
The Native Fish in the Los Angeles River Forum, to be held at the Los Angeles River Center on Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 4-6 p.m., will focus on the status of native fish in the Los Angeles River and on some interesting work going on to protect and restore them.
Featured presenters include:
Nathan Holste — U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Nathan Holste has been studying the Los Angeles River to determine if ecosystem services can be improved in order to foster native fish as an integral part of urban stream restoration projects. He will report on the status of his study, which includes concepts for redesigning the riverbed and 2D hydraulic modeling results.
Mark Capelli — National Marine Fisheries Service
Mark Capelli has served with the National Marine Fisheries Service, since 2000 as the Steelhead Recovery Coordinator for South-Central and Southern California. He is the lead author for both the Southern California and South-Central California Steelhead Recovery Plans.
Wendy Katagi — Stillwater Sciences
Wendy Katagi, Senior Manager, Watershed and Ecosystem Restoration Services for Stillwater Sciences, will moderate the discussion. Wendy has participated in many of the most important fish recovery programs in Southern California.
A. J. Keith — Stillwater Sciences
A. J. Keith, Senior Aquatic Ecologist with Stillwater Sciences, will report on work Stillwater is doing with various partners, including the Arroyo Seco Foundation, for native fish recovery in the LA River system.
Scott Cher — Arroyo Seco Foundation
Scott Cher will discuss ASF’s Rainbow Trout Restoration program and native fish recovery in the Arroyo Seco.
Presenters will participate in a panel discussion featuring questions and answers from the audience. The program will last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with light refreshments following the presentations and discussion. It is directed to LA River activists, organizations and agencies. The goal of the event is to focus more attention on native fish and habitat restoration as part of the LA River program and the importance of the tributaries such as Tujunga Canyon and the Arroyo Seco to restoring the health of the river ecosystem.
According to KCET, National Park Service researchers have installed a series wildlife cameras across 30 miles of the river’s course to try and get answers on how foxes, bobcats, opossums, coyotes, skunks, raccoons and other mammals use the area.
Around 30 cameras have been installed this year, from relatively wild areas in Griffith Park to little strips of property right outside of downtown L.A. that could be as small as 10×20 feet. The program will hopefully help determine whether the LA River acts as a wildlife corridor between the more than 150,000-acre Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and spaces in the city.