Alameda Creek Alliance


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Stonybrook Creek

The Stonybrook Creek tributary which feeds into Niles Canyon has year-round cold water flows and a healthy resident rainbow trout population. Nearly a mile of suitable habitat in this creek can be made accessible for spawning and rearing of steelhead trout if road crossing barriers are fixed.

Stonybrook Hwy 84 Culvert
The California Department of Transportation owns a road crossing box-culvert under Niles Canyon Road at the bottom of Stonybrook Creek that is undersized and a potential barrier to steelhead migration. The ACA pressured Caltrans to remove the culvert and replace it with a free-span bridge to allow for a natural stream channel and migratory fish passage. The project was delayed because Caltrans included the bridge replacement as part of a controversial highway widening project in Niles Canyon; but Caltrans is revising the road project and the Alameda Creek Alliance will ensure that this fish passage barrier is fixed. Caltrans has now proposed replacing the culvert as mitigation for tree cutting impacts from the abandoned Niles I highway widening project.

Palomares Road Culverts
Numerous other culverts under Palomares Road crossings have been identified as either complete or partial barriers to upstream migrating steelhead in Stonybrook Creek; three private crossings and five culverts owned by Alameda County. Alameda County is developing a barrier remediation strategy and has identified priority crossings for fish passage improvement. The Alameda County Resource Conservation District completed fish passage projects at the two lower County-owned culverts in 2016, modifying one culvert with baffles that improve fish passage; the other culvert was removed and replaced with a bridge. Rainbow trout moved upstream and appear to have spawned above both restoration locations the winter after the projects were completed. More info about the Stonybrook Creek Fish Passage Improvement Project.

Photos of Stonybrook Creek before and after the fish passage projects:

Lower Stonybrook Creek culvert looking upstream

Lower Stonybrook Creek culvert looking downstream

Newly installed fish-passage baffles in culvert

Upstream of the lower culvert

Further upstream of lower culvert

New bridge replacing upstream culvert

Small Scale Restoration Projects
The Alameda Creek Alliance will be working with landowners and various agencies to conduct small-scale restoration projects on private lands along Stonybrook Creek, including restoring native vegetation, erosion control and off-stream water storage.