Friday November 3, 2023

Courthouse Service News

The California Department of Transportation’s emergency repair work on the 101 Freeway in Central California has barred endangered steelhead trout from accessing a key habitat in the Gaviota Creek, which runs alongside the highway, according to an environmentalist group.

Caltrans has completely dewatered or diverted a section of the creek and killed at least three steelhead while trying to relocate the fish, the Coastal Ranches Conservancy, a group that focuses its efforts on the so-called Gaviota Coast west of Santa Barbara, said in a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles federal court.

“Defendants’ implementation of the project, in particular the dewatering and diversion of Gaviota Creek, has resulted in direct killing, trapping, harming, and harassment of steelhead,” the conservancy said.

Representatives of Caltrans didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after regular business hours.

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