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OJAI : Old Photos, Maps of Sespe Creek Sought

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The U. S. Forest Service is looking for help from the public to complete its study of Sespe Creek and its native steelhead trout.

“We’re looking for people who have old photos of the Sespe, who might have fished the Sespe years ago or who have old maps of the area,” said George Garcia, a biologist for the Forest Service.

The study seeks to compare historical accounts of the Sespe with current conditions.

Somewhere along the way, the steelhead trout--a relative of the salmon--went from flourishing in the creek by the hundreds of thousands to now being reviewed by the National Marine Fishery Service for listing as an endangered species.

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The steelhead is born in fresh water, matures in salt water and swims back upstream to spawn. But humans have had their impact on the Sespe with roads, camping and other forms of recreation, making the Sespe a less attractive place to spawn.

“We want to take a look at the Sespe the way it was and compare it to the way it is now,” Garcia said. “We’ll look at the impact the public has had on the steelhead and make some recommendations.”

The study is expected to be completed by late September.

To contribute historical data, mail information to the ranger station at 1190 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, 93023.

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