Drone footage shows natural power of refugia on the LA River

Ask any stream fisherman where to find trout and one of the answers will be “Behind the rocks.” That’s exactly what this brilliant drone video from Trout Unlimited’s Bob Blankenship shows to be true on a long, lonely stretch of wet concrete here in LA. If you are in a hurry, go to about minute 2 and you’ll see big carp hanging out behind the few rocks on this desolate river run. Most of this trench is a foot deep by maybe three foot. That ain’t much room for anything, much less a school of 16-inch-plus carp.

When I saw this, I thought to myself, anytime you give nature half a chance, it comes back. With a little help from us, in the form of shade, boulders and occasional slower water, we could see a return of the fish we really want — endangered So. Cal. steelhead. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that there are no fish in what look to be uninhabitable sections of our river. And where there are fish, there are birds! Anyway, check this video out!

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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