Enviro news of the “life finds a way” variety comes to us this weekend from Siel, who does her own online thang as well as write about the region’s at-large green scene for the L.A. Times’ Emerald City blog. There she tells us that something’s fishy with Ballona Creek — but in a good and literal way in the form of reports that a pair of steelhead trout have not only been sighted but photographed. No, not somewhere where down near the marina where the steelheads normally hang all curious going back and forth with “Dude, go check out what’s up that way!” “Hell no dude, you!” but instead all the pioneering way the hell upstream in Culver City’s stretch of the long-channelized waterway.
Is that pffft’ing I smell? You say no one gives a crappie about a coupla freakin’ fish in a stormdrain? OK, yeah, granted it’s not some wrong-way whale or 40-foot alligator, but trust me here: in the microcosm of people who care about stuff like this; two steelhead doing what comes naturally in such an unnatural environment? Huge.
And thus, word amongst the greeniacs spread rapidly and mostly emissions free. Siel wrote that she first heard about the dynamic duo from TreePeople president Andy Lipkis, who heard about it from Malibu Creek Watershed Coordinator Melina Watts, who heard about it from Steve Williams, biologist at the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, “who apparently saw two trout at 9 a.m. [March 14] under the foot bridge just west of the Overland Avenue overpass” (map).
The reason I’m all fired up about it is because it just so coincidentally happens that when I pedal to work and back I traverse (and sometimes kick back along) this very section of the waterway’s bikepath, so even though the odds are low of my every-day treks intersecting with the trouts’ fantastic voyage I’m thinking it still makes total sense for me to appoint myself to the wholly ceremonial and entirely unofficial post of TroutWatcher and file regular reports of my findings. Even if I get nothing because the fish got somewhere near this desolate point and booked it back to their buds in the bay in realization that the only limpid pools they might be spawning in would be the kidney-shaped and chlorinated kind.
Thirty (or maybe five — and most likely nonconsecutive) days of Troutwatching begins tomorrow. There will be fish!