Carmel River Steelhead Association (CRSA)

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An environmental summary created by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

CRSA Logo. Image:


The Carmel River Steelhead Association(CRSA) is a non-profit, volunteer and conservation group dedicated to the restoration of the Carmel River and its native Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).[1]


Fish Rescues

Every year, CRSA members & volunteers go out and search the areas known to go dry and strand fish for steelhead trout. They relocate these fish to the mainstem Carmel River that will not go dry. [2]

In addition, they provide fish rescue results by year on their website. [2]

Habitat Improvements

The focus of these habitat improvement projects are to provide favorable habitat to survive and thrive. In 1997, the American Rivers listed the Carmel one of many endangered rivers in the US.

Completed Habitat Projects listed on the CSRA website include[3]:

  • CRSA Gabion Project
  • Extending Los Padres Dam Spillway
  • Notching Los Padres Dam Spillyway Lip
  • Removing Los Padres Dam Spillway Boulders
  • Building Ladder and Trap
  • Large Woody Debris. Phase 1
  • Finch Creek Fish Passage Barrier Removal
  • Supplemental Water for the Lagoon
  • Helping Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project

Current Habitat Projects listed on the CSRA website include [4]:

  • Large Woody Debris, Phase II
  • Carmel Watershed Cleanups
  • Supplmental Water, Phase II

Planned Habitat Projects listed on the CSRA website include [5]:

Water Advocacy

As the Carmel River has been a main water source for the Monterey County area resulting in excess pumping of the aquifer. The need for this limited water source has led CRSA to be an advocate to keep some water for the fish. The association says that they attend meetings, comment of environmental documents, protest excess water withdrawals, bring up illegal actions to appropriate bodies, and in general fight for the rights of fish.

Some of their listed Water Advocacy accomplishments are [6]:

  • 2009 SWRCB Water Order 09-60
    • The CSRA filed a complaint with SWRCB about Order 95-10 not being enforced and illegal pumping was occurring. The complaint led to hearings with Cal Am and resulted in the SWRCB issuing the[Water Order 09-60].
  • 2010 Lagoon Notice of Intent to Sue
  • 2014 Cease and Desist Order Extension
  • 2015 Pacific Grove Local Water Project


  2. 2.0 2.1



This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.