OJAI (AP) — A California conservation group has purchased a mile-long stretch of the Ventura River considered a prime spawning habitat for endangered steelhead trout.

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy says the area near the river’s confluence with San Antonio Creek and has deep, shaded pools.

Conservancy director Greg Gamble tells the Ventura County Star that the group won $2 million in grants to purchase 70 acres of Hollingsworth Ranch in Oak View. The grants come from the California Coastal Conservancy and Department of Fish & Game.

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy now controls about 2,000 acres in and around the Ojai Valley.

Besides steelhead, the new acquisition offers a home for 31 other “special status” species, including the California red-legged frog, Least Bell’s vireo, great egret, White-faced ibis, and southwestern pond turtle.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. jones says:

    now stosk piru, before its lost forever

  2. jerome says:

    These poor fish will NEVER make it in california. The water is NOT cold enough. I have caught the biggest steelhead closer to timberline. not at sealevel

    1. Ken says:

      These “poor fish” have been native to this water shed for thousands of years without any problem until over development, dams and overall habitat degradation. Steelhead have historically inhabited rivers as far south as the Baja Peninsula and can stand a wide range of temperatures as long as the water has good oxygen levels. If you are interested in learning more about these seagoing rainbow trout click the link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_trout

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