Endangered Species Planning in the Santa Ynez River

Environmental Assessment of Santa Ynez River

Cardno has been assisting the US Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the Cachuma Conservation Release Board (CCRB) with endangered species planning in the Santa Ynez River for over two decades.

When steelhead trout became a federally-listed species in 1995, the Endangered Species Act required BOR to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) about Cachuma Project operations at the Bradbury Dam and resulting impacts to steelhead in the Lower Santa Ynez River. Cardno assisted BOR and the CCRB by preparing a biological assessment, coordinating fisheries studies, and analyzing flow requirements for fish passage and summer habitat. Cardno prepared a fisheries management plan that addressed instream flow releases, habitat improvement projects, a monitoring program, and adaptive management measures.

Cardno is currently assisting BOR with re-consultation on the Cachuma Project, including production of a new biological assessment and strategic support throughout the consultation process. Cardno is also supporting BOR and CCRB with long-term fish monitoring, planning, drought operations for fish, water rights orders, steelhead population estimates, migration, passage flow analysis, and non-native fish predation studies.

Cardno is assisting several agencies by developing actions to meet the needs of water users, including endangered species, and supporting measures to reduce impacts associated with a proposed water management plan.