Ventura River Southern Steelhead Habitat Assessment
HELIX is evaluating effects of water well operations located in private parcels in Ventura County adjacent to the lower Ventura River stream channel, on streamflows, and whether operation of the wells would result in adverse effects to federally-endangered Southern steelhead or their designated critical habitat. HELIX fisheries scientists are reviewing results of water well operations on Ventura River surface elevations and velocities, and water quality (in particular, dissolved oxygen), as well as hydrologic groundwater/surface flow modeling in Reach 2 of the Ventura River, where farming is the primary land use activity. Pumps are seasonally operated for crop irrigation on the project site. HELIX is comparing instream habitat parameters during operation and non-operation conditions, and further comparing those values to suitable velocity, depth, substrate and other parameters specific to Southern steelhead.