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If You Spot Fish in Alameda Creek


What to do and who to contact if you see salmon or steelhead in Alameda Creek

Adult chinook salmon and steelhead trout attempt to make their way upstream in lower Alameda Creek each fall and winter during spawning season. These fish are currently blocked by an impassable barrier in Alameda Creek below the BART tracks, the BART weir (soon to have a fish ladder constructed). Salmon are occasionally observed here and at other locations in the flood control channel in late November and early December after heavy rainstorms. Adult steelhead are typically seen from January through early March.

Steelhead have been seen in recent years trying to ascend the BART weir 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 species, rather than salmonids. 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 fish in the lower Alameda Creek Flood Control Channel 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
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 help tag steelhead at the BART weir for fish migration studies, 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.