FREMONT (CBS SF) — An advocacy group is celebrating the return of steelhead trout to the Alameda Creek watershed with the first confirmed sighting since 2008.
The Alameda Creek Alliance announced in a press release that two adult steelhead trout were spotted last week in the lower Alameda Creek flood control channel in Fremont.
The trout were seen below a concrete barrier which prevents their spawning migration, the group said. It called for progress on work to build planned fish ladders in the channel which would allow steelhead to bypass the concrete footings of elevated BART and railroad tracks just north of Mowry Ave.
“We’ve been waiting nearly two decades for these crucial fish passage projects in the lower creek, and migratory fish have been blocked from the Alameda Creek watershed for half a century,” Alameda Creek Alliance director Jeff Miller said in the press release. “We’ve made a lot of progress on restoration and the agencies should be commended for projects completed so far, but let’s get these fish ladders built while we still have steelhead to re-inhabit the creek.”
Steelhead trout were nearly eliminated from the Alameda Creek watershed following a series of dam-building and water diversions in the 60s and 70s. The species was designated as threatened in 1997.
The Alameda County Flood Control and Water District and other local agencies have been planning the fish ladder project in the flood control channel but construction has been delayed for years.