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Did You Know… ? Ventura River

Did you know... that prior to the 1940s, the Ventura River hosted 5,000 steelhead trout annually? Here's the story.

by Totally Local VC
Ventura River Steelhead Trout Catch circa 1919

Did you know… that prior to the 1940s, the Ventura River hosted 5,000 steelhead trout annually?

Many famous Hollywood stars came to Ventura to wet their lines in our local river in hopes of a banner day of fishing. The Ventura River forms at the confluence of Matilija Creek and North Fork Matilija Creek, 16.5 miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean. There is a trail that runs along the river and, while it is hardly the most scenic of trails, it is definitely extremely fascinating. The trail points out the intriguing juxtaposition of what the railroads often bring to a community, namely industry, and what they leave behind when they are abandoned: Asphalt.


The Ventura River Trail follows the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way from Main Street to Foster Park 6.3 miles (10.16 km) inland. Opened in 1999, this pedestrian and bicycle path links the Ojai Valley Trail and the coastal Omer Rains Trail for one of the best 17-mile urban bike rides in Southern California – from the Ventura Pier to Fox Street in Ojai.

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Patty Kennedy April 27, 2013 - 9:52 am

Wish we still had steelhead in the river. Are they ever going to remove the Matilija Dam?

Totally Local VC April 27, 2013 - 10:29 am

We do too!


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