11 Facts About Alameda Creek


Alameda Creek is a large perennial stream in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Along its course, Alameda Creek provides wildlife habitat, water supply, a conduit for flood waters, opportunities for recreation, and a host of aesthetic and environmental values.

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Alameda Creek was the former boundary between Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties during the period from 1850, when Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties were formed, to 1853 when Alameda County was carved from the two Counties.

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The portion of Alameda County south of Alameda Creek is the only part of Alameda County that is not derived from Contra Costa County.

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Two-thirds of the watershed is in Alameda Creek County including the reach through the Sunol Valley, the rest is in Santa Clara County.

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The tributaries of Alameda creek include Arroyo de la Laguna, Arroyo Valle, San Antonio Creek and Calaveras Creek, whose main tributary is Arroyo Hondo.

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Alameda Creek historically supported spawning runs of at least three salmonid species: steelhead, coho salmon and chinook salmon .

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Confirmation that adult steelhead recently captured attempting to migrate into the Alameda Creek watershed, and the rainbow trout sampled in the upper watershed, are native fish that have their closest genetic associations with other populations within the federally threatened steelhead Central California Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit has spurred a major effort to restore this historically important steelhead stream by removing barriers to migration and improving habitat quality.

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Alameda Creek is considered a potential 'anchor watershed' for steelhead, regionally significant for restoration of the threatened trout to the entire Bay Area, although by the late 1950s the California Department of Fish and Game decided the steelhead run was no longer viable due to numerous man-made barriers to fish runs.

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The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission removed two disused dams in the Niles Canyon reach of Alameda Creek to improve fish passage following assessing impacts in an Environmental Impact Report under CEQA.

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Downstream of San Francisco's dams, the Alameda Creek Alliance has helped to initiate the removal of 11 barriers to fish passage since 2001.

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