Contents 1 History 2 Watershed and course 3 Conservation and Ecology 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] The Portolà expedition camped on the river on July 20, 1769 and named it for Saint Margaret of Antioch. A Santa Margarita rancheria is mentioned in 1795 and there is a February 23, 1836 land grant called Santa Margarita y San Onofre (later renamed Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores).[3] The river was the site of several attempts to build railroads in the 1880s. During much of the 20th century the river was the subject of a long-running water rights battle between the United States Navy and the Fallbrook Public Utility District. The conflict was resolved in 1967 and the following year both entities proposed to jointly construct dams on the river. The proposal was abandoned in 1984 due to environmentalist opposition.

Watershed and course[edit] The mainstem of the Santa Margarita River begins at the confluence of Temecula Creek[4] and Murrieta Creek,[5] in southwestern Riverside County, east of Interstate 15, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) southeast of Temecula.[4] It flows southwest through the 5 miles (8.0 km) Temecula Canyon at the south end of the Santa Ana Mountains. Along its lower 10 miles (16 km) the river forms a large floodplain as it crosses Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. It enters the Gulf of Santa Catalina on the Pacific approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Oceanside. Draining 1,922 square kilometres (742 sq mi), the Santa Margarita Watershed is the second largest river basin on the Southern California coastal plain.[6] The upper watershed consists of the 575 square kilometres (222 sq mi) Murrieta Creek subwatershed and the 948 square kilometres (366 sq mi) Temecula Creek subwatershed. Although there are two dams in the upper watershed, both dams must release water that roughly corresponds to natural flows in the tributaries that they are on. As a result, the flow of water in the Santa Margarita River is very close to what it would be in the absence of those two dams.[7] Below the confluence of Murrieta and Temecula Creeks, the primary tributaries of the Santa Margarita River mainstem are Rainbow Creek on the left (headingdownstream) and Sandia Creek and De Luz Creeks on the right. The two latter creeks drain the Santa Rosa Plateau.[8]

Conservation and Ecology[edit] Approximately 4,334 acres (1,754 ha) of the middle course of the Santa Margarita River in Temecula Canyon are managed by San Diego State University as the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, a collaboration of the Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy has identified and continues to acquire land along the river for conservation. Downstream from the Ecological Preserve the river flows through lands owned by the Fallbrook Public Utility District, and empties into the Ocean through the largely undisturbed lands of Camp Pendleton. Thus the mainstem flows through undeveloped, protected lands. The river has unusual habitats with the upper mainstem one of the few remaining natural gorge rivers in Southern California and the lower mainstem has expansive riparian strips, some up to 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) across.[6] Approximately 70 species of special concern (rare, threatened, or endangered) regularly inhabiting the watershed, including 30 that are currently protected under the Endangered Species Act.[6] Two federally endangered riparian birds are the least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) and the southwestern willow flycatcher (Emmpidonax traillii extimus)), both of which require riparian habitat for breeding success. Major fishes in the Santa Margarita River include the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), arroyo chub (Gila orcuttii), California killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis), striped mullet, longjaw mudsucker, staghorn sculpin. Aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals include California golden beaver (Castor canadensis subauratus), muskrat, raccoon and long-tailed weasel.[9] Contemporary beaver populations survive at the headwaters of the Santa Margarita River at the confluence of Temecula Creek and Murrieta Creek.[10] Major riparian plants include arroyo, black, narrowleaf, Pacific, and red willow (Salix spp); California sycamore (Platanus racemosa), Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia) and White alder (Alnus rhombifolia).[9]

References[edit] ^ a b c "Santa Margarita River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.  ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 16, 2011 ^ Erwin G. Gudde (1960). California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Place Names. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 296. Retrieved 2013-02-10. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ a b "Temecula Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.  ^ "Murrieta Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.  ^ a b c Eric D. Stein, Richard F. Ambrose (September 1998). "Cumulative Impacts of Section 404 Clean Water Act Permitting on the Riparian Habitat of the Santa Margarita, California Watershed" (PDF). Wetlands. 18 (3): 393–408. doi:10.1007/bf03161533. Retrieved 2013-02-10. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ "Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve". San Diego State University. Retrieved 2013-02-10.  ^ Katherine Shapiro (1997) [1991]. Refuge in an Urbanizing Land. The Santa Margarita River: Cultural and Natural Resource Value. Fallbrook, California: Santa Margarita River Foundation.  ^ a b Arthur C. Benke, Colbert E. Cushing (2005). Rivers of North America. Academic Press. p. 589. ISBN 978-0-12-088253-3. Retrieved 2010-12-07. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Dick Newell, OCTrackers (2010). "Analyzing Beaver Track and Sign". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Santa Ana Mountains. The Santa Margarita River - Fallbrook Area Information by Tom Chester SDSU: Santa Margarita Ecological Preserve California Rivers - Friends of the Santa Margarita River v t e Major rivers of coastal Southern California Ventura River Santa Clara River Sespe Creek Ballona Creek Dominguez Channel Los Angeles River Tujunga Wash San Gabriel River Coyote Creek Santa Ana River San Jacinto River San Juan Creek San Mateo Creek Santa Margarita River San Luis Rey River San Dieguito River San Diego River Sweetwater River Otay River v t e Greater Los Angeles Area Central city Los Angeles Counties Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino Ventura Satellite cities Long Beach Riverside San Bernardino Cities >200k Anaheim Fontana Glendale Huntington Beach Irvine Long Beach Moreno Valley Oxnard Riverside San Bernardino Santa Ana Cities and towns 100k−200k Burbank Corona Costa Mesa Downey East Los Angeles El Monte Fullerton Garden Grove Inglewood Lancaster Murrieta Norwalk Ontario Orange Palmdale Pasadena Pomona Rancho Cucamonga Rialto Santa Clarita Simi Valley Temecula Thousand Oaks Torrance Ventura Victorville West Covina Area regions Los Angeles metropolitan area Antelope Valley Central Los Angeles Coachella Valley Colorado Desert Conejo Valley Downtown Los Angeles East Los Angeles Gateway Cities Greater Hollywood Harbor Area Inland Empire Mojave Desert Northwest Los Angeles Palos Verdes Peninsula Pomona Valley San Bernardino Valley San Fernando Valley San Gabriel Valley Santa Ana Valley Santa Clarita Valley Simi Valley South Bay South Los Angeles Victor Valley Westside Los Angeles Landforms Los Angeles Basin Baldwin Hills (range) Catalina Island Channel Islands Chino Hills Hollywood Hills Oxnard Plain Palos Verdes Hills Puente Hills San Fernando Valley San Gabriel Mountains San Gabriel Valley San Jacinto Mountains Santa Ana Mountains Santa Monica Mountains Santa Susana Mountains Sierra Pelona Mountains Simi Hills Verdugo Mountains Bodies of water Los Angeles River Aliso Creek Arroyo Calabasas Arroyo Seco Ballona Creek Bell Creek Big Bear Lake Coyote Creek Lake Arrowhead Lake Gregory Lake Perris Lake Piru Los Angeles Aqueduct Malibu Creek Mojave River Pacific Ocean Pyramid Lake Rio Hondo San Gabriel River San Juan Creek San Pedro Bay Santa Ana River Santa Clara River Santa Margarita River Santa Monica Bay Tujunga Wash Retrieved from "" Categories: Rivers of Riverside County, CaliforniaRivers of San Diego County, CaliforniaSanta Ana MountainsWatersheds of CaliforniaRivers of Southern CaliforniaHidden categories: CS1 maint: Uses authors parameterCoordinates on WikidataGeobox usage tracking for river typeCommons category without a link on Wikidata

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