Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


he Salinas River system is important for both humans and wildlife. The Salinas River runs through a major multibillion-dollar agricultural area that the Salinas River waters are used to irrigate. It is also the home of Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), an anadromous fish that has been placed on the Endangered Species list. Placement on the Endangered Species list protects the steelhead from any person "harming" them. A model was made to determine how much "harm" is happening to the steelhead. The Arroyo Seco were used as the rearing grounds for the model because it is on of the last sizable rearing grounds in Salinas River watershed. David Dettman's method for steelhead habitat assessment was used to estimate the total number of fish that could be supported by the Arroyo Seco. Based on 1979 suspended sediment data the Salinas River could not support a healthy run of steelhead. The model calculated a reduction in feeding and a zero to twenty-percent mortality for the steelhead in 1979. The reduction in the feeding rate is important to understand that the size is directly related to how it survives in the ocean. It is also important to understand where the harm is coming from to protect the steelhead.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute