The Carmel River Steelhead Association (CRSA) from its roots dating back to the 1970's evolved from a conservation group consisting mainly of fishermen to the leading advocate for preserving the Carmel River Wild Steelhead. CRSA is a founding stakeholder of the Carmel River Watershed Council and represents the recreational users of the watershed.
During the late eighties & early nineties, the CRSA initiated several programs associated with the rearing of smolts during extreme drought periods on the Carmel River and a Brood Stock program at Granite Canyon, Carmel, CA. This program was primarily responsible for ensuring the continued existence of the Carmel species of Steelhead during 4 years of extreme drought when no migrations were possible.
Rescues of stranded Steelhead adults & young have occurred for 26 years during April through October. CRSA members and its volunteer crews from youth groups, fishing associations, and others, participate on an as-needed basis for major transfer to the ocean of adults and smolts locked in the Carmel lagoon.
The CRSA has for many years been engaged in fighting for minimum flows on the Carmel in the wake of increased illegal over-pumping of the Carmel aquifer. This culminated in a judgment of a lawsuit filed by CRSA & others and new regulations from the California State Water Resources Control Board that will over time eliminate the over-pumping.
CRSA monitors on an ongoing basis and where necessary files a protest where appropriation of water rights is sought.