San Pablo Creek at Safeway on March 1, 2018
Trout return to San Pablo Creek!
December, 2016. It has been many years since rainbow trout were spotted in San Pablo Creek in Orinda – until last week. For over ten years, Fisheries biologist Brain Waters and Wildlife biologist Professor Reg Barrett have maintained that San Pablo Creek in Orinda is potential habitat for rainbow trout. They were proved right after EBMUD reported over 100 trout ranging in length from 10-14 inches near the Orinda Filter Plant. This occurred shortly after EBMUD cleared root wads and other debris and removed the metal obstructions in the sluice gate opening of the small (12-foot high) dam just upstream of Bear Creek Road - in time for rainbow trout to swim upstream for spawning season.
Besides the pleasure of seeing these large fish swimming in our creeks, they are one of the best indicators of creek health. Friends of Orinda Creeks (FOC) has been in negotiation with EBMUD for many years to see this happen and pressed for providing an opening for fish and regular maintenance of the dam.
Sluice gate opening when clear, which is not very often.
in Upper San Pablo Creek?
Good enough for a resident population of trout? We are about to find out, thanks to a grant shared by the Watershed Project. A trained student intern, Mada Velasco, has been hired to begin testing several sites on Upper San Pablo Creek for physical characteristics such as temperature, acidity, and dissolved oxygen, using sophisticated instruments on loan from San Francisco City College. She started on July 30, 2017. The data that she obtains will help us determine the health of our watershed and how well it can support wildlife, including rainbow trout.
On Saturday April 21, 2018, Friends of Orinda Creeks had a great turnout of volunteers on Orinda Action Day. A special thanks to the Miramonte Boys Lacrosse team and to a generous group of Chevron participants.
A hearty thank you to all of our volunteers for the much-needed cleanup!
Lauterwasser Creek Culvert on Miner Road, south side on March 1, 2018
On Friday, April 29, 2016, Friends of Orinda Creeks installed a brand new interpretive sign in the Orinda Community Park near the tot structure. It features pictures of San Pablo Creek in downtown Orinda, local wildlife, a map of Orinda's watershed, and information about the creek. The sign was produced and installed in partnership with the City of Orinda.
Twenty eager Orindans, young and old, met at the Vintage House parking lot Saturday morning September 15 to clean up the downtown stretch of San Pablo Creek. The group braved Himalayan blackberries, poison oak and steep slopes to extract approximately 250 pounds of rubbish and recyclable materials, preventing it from degrading and flowing down the creek into San Pablo Reservoir, one of our local sources of drinking water, and into the Ocean. Items ranged from the mundane (cans, bottles, styrafoam, old rugs) to the unusual (golf clubs, manhole cover, rubber ducky armada). Mostly it was just a lot of garbage. All participants were equally amazed by the volume of debris, as well as the beauty of the creek and riparian corridor and its potential for improvement and access. For more information, click here.
Click here to read a short article in the January/February issue of California Fly Fisher.