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Photo courtesy of Tom Gamache
Photo by Tom Gamache

The creeks, rivers, and lakes of the Santa Monica Mountains are an essential part of our ecosystem. These waters sustain endangered Southern steelhead trout, Arroyo chubb, and Western pond turtles, along with a unique array of algae species.

Having functional creeks and rivers is what makes the whole system thrive for terrestrial species ranging from deer to mountain lions, hawks to rattlesnakes, and all of our diverse plant species.

No Fishing in the Creek
Fishing in Topanga Creek and Malibu Creek is illegal without a scientific collecting permit. Any take of endangered or threatened species is punishable by law. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides information on fishing and hunting regulations.

Fishing in Malibou Lake
Because endangered Southern steelhead trout cannot migrate upstream past Rindge Dam, the fish that live in this lake are primarily imported and maintained for the local community. Fishing in Malibou Lake is only permitted by residents and guests with permission.


Photo by Larry Mayer

New Zealand mud snails have invaded the Malibu Creek Watershed. Endangered Southern steelhead trout eat the snails – but process them undigested – making them true junk food.

Be aware that hiking through multiple creeks in a day can transfer this invasive species from one region to the next.

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