Marijuana Farm Threatened Trout Spawning In Santa Clara County

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A Marijuana plant (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

A Marijuana plant (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

MattBigler20100909_KCBS_0384r Matt Bigler
KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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MORGAN HILL (KCBS) – An illegal marijuana grow on the Llagas River near Morgan Hill was discovered and cleaned up just in time for the spawning of steelhead trout.

A dam erected by the pot growers had nearly dried up a tributary to the Llagas. And the farming sent several toxic substances into the creek bed, said Patrick Foy, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Game.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“They added a bunch of fertilizers and pesticides and rodent killers. And all that stuff bleeds down into the creek bed when it’s drained, making it even worse for steelhead,” Foy said.

Three unarmed Mexican nationals were arrested at the grow site, discovered in an area where wildlife officials had restored and declared a protected area in order to encourage steelhead to spawn.

“The people behind these operations really have complete disregard for the open space and the habitat and the wildlife,” said Patty Eaton with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority.

Foy The medical marijuana movement has contributed to the expansion of a water-intensive crop, Foy said.

“People who are taking what they consider to be medical marijuana, what they call their medicine, is cultivated with tremendous amounts of damage to the environment,” Foy said.

Illegal marijuana farms continue to plague remote areas of the state. Foy blamed the medical marijuana movement for increasing demand for a water-intensive crop.

“People who are taking what they consider to be medical marijuana, what they call their medicine, is cultivated with tremendous amounts of damage to the environment,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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