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If You Spot Fish in Alameda Creek


What to do and who to contact if you see fish you think may be salmon or steelhead in Alameda Creek

Adult salmonids attempt to make their way up Alameda Creek during spawning season (Chinook salmon in fall and steelhead trout in winter). Until recently these fish were blocked by an impassable barrier in Alameda Creek below the BART tracks, the BART weir. As of 2022 a new fish ladder will allow salmonids to bypass this barrier. Chinook salmon may observed here and at other locations in the flood control channel and upstream in late November and early December after heavy rainstorms. Adult steelhead are typically seen from January through early March.

Adult steelhead migrate upstream after a major storm on the declining end of the hydrograph, typically when the stream flow is about 200 to 400 cubic feet/second (cfs). You can check the current Alameda Creek stream flow on the web in lower Niles Canyon and in the flood control channel in Union City.

Other native and introduced fish are often seen in the flood control channel and at the BART weir, including Sacramento pikeminnow, carp, and catfish. Adult fish in the flood control channel from June through October will likely be one of these warm water species, rather than salmonids, which require colder water. These fish are sometimes large enough to be mistaken for salmonids. To identify fish, check out these photos of rainbow and steelhead trout and Chinook salmon. Compare these with photos of Sacramento pikeminnow, common carp, and catfish.

If you see adult fish in Alameda Creek that you believe to be salmon or steelhead, from November through April, please contact one of the following people:

Jeff Miller, Alameda Creek Alliance: (510) 499-9185; e-mail jeff AT alamedacreek DOT org

Steven Cochrane, Alameda Creek Alliance: (510) 225-8196; email steven AT alamedacreek DOT org

Joe Sullivan, East Bay Regional Park District: (510) 289-0669, e-mail jsullivan AT ebparks DOT org

Download a fish observation form.

If you would like to volunteer to survey for spawning salmonids, send an e-mail to the Alameda Creek Alliance: Jeff AT alamedacreek DOT org

To report poaching or fishing in the Alameda Creek flood control channel, call CALTIP anonymously at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP (1-888-334-2258) or call the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife warden dispatch at (707) 944-5512. CALTIP also has a phone app to report poaching.