Santa Barbara, California (about an hour and a half north of LA) doesn’t exactly inspire images of deep canyons and emerald green water full of steelhead…but it would have back in the 1940’s, when the Santa Ynez River was home to annual runs of 25,000 anadramous rainbows!
But only a token handful of the great fish make it back each year now. The usual band of culprits did the river in: Water diversions, dams and development. etc. The biggest blow came in the early 1950’s when massive Cachuma Dam was completed, effectively blocking off the bulk of steelhead spawning habitat.