Spanish: Arroyo de la Alameda
|Region||Alameda County, Santa Clara County|
|City||Union City, California|
|Source||Packard Ridge in the Diablo Range|
|• location||12 miles (19 km) east of San Jose|
|• elevation||2,950 ft (900 m)|
|Mouth||San Francisco Bay|
|3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Hayward|
|0 ft (0 m)|
|Length||45 mi (72 km)|
|• left||Calaveras Creek|
|• right||San Antonio Creek, Arroyo de la Laguna|
Alameda Creek (Spanish : Arroyo de la Alameda) is a large perennial stream in the San Francisco Bay Area. The creek runs for 45 miles (72 km) from a lake northeast of Packard Ridge to the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay by way of Niles Canyon and a flood control channel.
Five Spanish expeditions led by Portolà, Ortega, Fages, Anza and Amador passed over Alameda Creek between 1769 and 1795. El Camino Viejo between Pleasanton and Mission Pass crossed it near Sunol. Mission San José, in Fremont, was dedicated in 1797. The Mission thrived for 49 years until the Mexican Government's Secularization Order liquidated mission lands in 1834. Alameda Creek was the boundary of the mission lands and the 17,000-acre (69 km2) Rancho Arroyo de la Alameda granted to Jose de Jesus Vallejo, who built a flour mill near the mouth of Niles Canyon. The mill and the importance of the canyon as a passage through the hills led to growth of Niles (which in 1956 became part of Fremont, California) in the 1850s. A favorable climate, excellent soils, and a fast-growing population helped agriculture to boom. Early roads led to landings where small ships would load grain and other foodstuffs for transport to market.
Alameda Creek is the most important stream in Alameda County. From this Creek is derived the name of the County. Alameda Creek was the former boundary between Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties during the period from 1850, when Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties were formed, to 1853 when Alameda County was carved from the two Counties. The portion of Alameda County south of Alameda Creek is the only part of Alameda County that is not derived from Contra Costa County. 17, 26:
Completion of the Central Pacific Railroad through Niles Canyon in 1869 was essential to completion of First Transcontinental Railroad that terminated at Alameda Terminal and Oakland Long Wharf that same year. The Western Pacific was also routed through Niles Canyon, connecting Sacramento, California and San Jose, California in 1906.
The creek bed had once been used as a gravel quarry.When the gravel pits were flooded by water purchased by the public for groundwater recharge of the Niles Cone, the gravel harvesters began to daily pump out enough water to meet the needs of 30,000 people down the creek into San Francisco Bay. After the pumping was declared to be an illegal waste the Alameda County Water District acquired the quarry in 1975.
In May 2015, vandals damaged an inflatable dam across the creek in Fremont, releasing 50 million gallons (190 million litres) of drinking water into San Francisco Bay.
Alameda Creek is the largest watershed within the southern San Francisco Bay, draining 700 square miles (1,813 square kilometers), or about 20% of the total drainage area for the south Bay.Two-thirds of the watershed is in Alameda County including the reach through the Sunol Valley, the rest is in Santa Clara County. The tributaries of Alameda creek include Arroyo de la Laguna, Arroyo Valle, San Antonio Creek and Calaveras Creek, whose main tributary is Arroyo Hondo. The watershed includes three man-made reservoirs: Lake Del Valle, San Antonio Reservoir and Calaveras Reservoir.
The Alameda Creek Watershed can be divided into six major reaches:
A more comprehensive list inclusive of minor as well as major named tributaries includes (from top of mainstem heading downstream) Valpe Creek (right), Bear Gulch (right), Whitlock Creek (right), Calaveras Creek (left), Leyden Creek (left), Indian Joe Creek (right), Welch Creek (right), Haynes Gulch (left), Pirate Creek (left), San Antonio Creek (right), Arroyo de la Laguna (right), Stonybrook Canyon (right) and Dry Creek (right). Alameda Creek now runs through the man-made Alameda Creek flood channel near the Bay, the latter is parallel to and south of the old Alameda Creek channel. Ward Creek is tributary to old Alameda Creek.
Alameda Creek historically supported steelhead (the anadromous form of the coastal rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus),coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Confirmation that adult steelhead recently captured attempting to migrate into the Alameda Creek watershed, and the rainbow trout sampled in the upper watershed (trapped above complete migration barriers), are native fish that have their closest genetic associations with other populations within the federally threatened steelhead Central California Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit has spurred a major effort to restore this historically important steelhead stream by removing barriers to migration and improving habitat quality. Since steelhead in the Bay Area and California's Central Coast were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, numerous organizations, including the Alameda Creek Alliance, and governmental agencies have cooperated on restoration projects to allow migratory fish from the Bay to reach spawning habitat in upper Alameda Creek, beginning in 1999.
Alameda Creek is considered a potential ‘anchor watershed’ for steelhead, regionally significant for restoration of the threatened trout to the entire Bay Area, although by the late 1950s the California Department of Fish and Game decided the steelhead run was no longer viable due to numerous man-made barriers to fish runs. By the early 1970s the Army Corps of Engineers channeled and rip-rapped the lower 12 miles (19 km) of the creek. The last steelhead and coho salmon runs were seen in the lower creek in 1964. In 2009, the Alameda County Water District removed a rubber dam that blocked trout passage in the lower creek, adjacent to Quarry Lakes Regional Park. In June, 2010 environmentalists and water district officials celebrated the removal of a dam on Alameda Creek in Fremont, and the planned installation of fish ladders to allow salmonids to bypass two other dams on the lower creek. At the same time, PG&E is working to modify a cement barrier farther upstream in Sunol to help steelhead swim farther into the watershed, water officials said. Ground was broken on the first ladder the Alameda County Water District is building in April 2018 and is just west of the Mission Boulevard overcrossing in the Niles district of Fremont, allowing passage around a rubber dam. The second ladder, which should start construction in 2019, is about a mile downstream at the concrete structure, called a weir. The two ladders are funded by nearly $10 million in grants from several agencies, including $5.36 million from the California Wildlife Conservation Board and $3 million from the California Natural Resources Agency. When those projects are completed in 2021, steelhead will be able to migrate upstream to spawning habitats in the Sunol Valley for the first time in a half-century.
California's archaeological record has contributed to knowledge of the prehistoric distribution of fishes in Alameda Creek and its tributaries including Sacramento perch (Archoplites interruptus), Sacramento suckers ( Catostomus occidentalis occidentalis), Tule perch (Hysterocarpus traskii), Hitches (Lavinia exilicauda), Hardheads (Mylopharodon conocephalus), Sacramento blackfish, and Sacramento pikeminnow ( Ptychocheilus grandis).Many of these fishes still occupy the creek, although the number of introduced exotic fishes continues to increase. Exotic fish species such as the largemouth and Smallmouth basses (Micropterus salmoides and Micropterus dolomieui) respectively, were introduced to Alameda Creek (and the Napa River) by Livingston Stone in 1874.
There is historical evidence of beaver in the Alameda Creek watershed. In 1828 fur trapper Michel La Framboise travelled to "the missions of San José, San Francisco Solano and San Rafael Arcángel. La Framboise stated that "the Bay of San Francisco abounds in beaver", and that he "made his best hunt in the vicinity of the missions".Alexander Roderick McLeod reported on the progress of the first Hudson's Bay Company fur brigade sent to California in 1829, "Beaver is become an article of traffic on the Coast as at the Mission of St. Joseph alone upwards of Fifteen hundred Beaver Skins were collected from the natives at a trifling value and sold to Ships at 3 Dollars". In the 1840s Kit Carson was granted rights to trap beaver on Alameda Creek in the East Bay where they "abounded...from the mouth of its canyon to the broad delta on the bay". Physical evidence of beaver include faunal remains in the Arroyo de la Laguna tributary recovered in an archaeological site west of Interstate 680. Beaver may be beneficial to efforts to restore salmonids in Alameda Creek as beaver ponds benefit oversummering salmonid smolts by raising the water table which then recharges streams in the dry summer season and also by providing perennial deep pools when streams are only seasonal.
In January, 2011, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission won approvals to construct a replacement dam just downstream from the existing earthen Calaveras Dam, which has been maintained at 40% of capacity because of seismic concerns. However, construction of a fish ladder to provide steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) access to the waters above the dam were deemed not feasible because at 290 feet (88 m), it would be the tallest fish ladder in the country, and would cost $40 million. Steelhead have not had access to spawning streams above Calaveras Dam since it was built in 1925. However, environmentalists won concessions from the SFPUC to assure adequate water releases from the new dam to improve summer flows as well as a smaller fish ladder around a diversion dam blocking access to upper Alameda Creek, which is regarded as prime trout habitat. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission removed two disused dams in the Niles Canyon reach of Alameda Creek to improve fish passage following assessing impacts in an Environmental Impact Report under CEQA.
Downstream of San Francisco's dams, the Alameda Creek Alliance has helped to initiate the removal of 11 barriers to fish passage since 2001.
The Alameda Creek Regional Trail runs along Alameda Creek for 12 miles (19 km). The trail starts in the Niles neighborhood of Fremont and continues westward to the San Francisco Bay through the cities of Union City and Newark. The trail consists of two parallel paths, one on each side of Alameda Creek. The path on the south side of the creek is paved, and can be used by pedestrians and bicyclists. The path on the north side of the creek is unpaved, and can be used by pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians. The trail provides direct access to Coyote Hills Regional Park and Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area.
The Guadalupe River mainstem is an urban, northward flowing 14 miles (23 km) river in California whose much longer headwater creeks originate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The river mainstem now begins on the Santa Clara Valley floor when Los Alamitos Creek exits Lake Almaden and joins Guadalupe Creek just downstream of Coleman Road in San Jose, California. From here it flows north through San Jose, where it receives Los Gatos Creek, a major tributary. The Guadalupe River serves as the eastern boundary of the City of Santa Clara and the western boundary of Alviso, and after coursing through San José, it empties into south San Francisco Bay at the Alviso Slough.
The Napa River is a river approximately 55 miles (89 km) long in the U.S. state of California. It drains a famous wine-growing region called the Napa Valley, in the mountains north of the San Francisco Bay. Milliken Creek and Mt. Veeder watersheds are a few of its many tributaries. The river mouth is at Vallejo, where the intertidal zone of fresh and salt waters flow into the Carquinez Strait and the San Pablo Bay.
Arroyo Hondo is a northwestward-flowing 13.0-mile-long (20.9 km) river in Santa Clara County, California, United States, that lies east of Milpitas. The area is privately owned by the San Francisco Water Department and is closed to public access because of its usage as drinking water. Bounded to the east by Oak Ridge and to the west by Poverty Ridge, Arroyo Hondo empties into the Calaveras Reservoir where it joins Calaveras Creek. It is formed by the confluence of Smith Creek and Isabel Creek which drain the west and east slopes of Mount Hamilton, respectively.
Calaveras Reservoir is located primarily in Santa Clara County, California, with a small portion and its dam in Alameda County, California. In Spanish, Calaveras means "skulls".
Coyote Creek is a river that flows through the Santa Clara Valley in Northern California. Its source is on Mount Sizer, in the mountains east of Morgan Hill. It eventually flows into Anderson Lake in Morgan Hill and then northwards through Coyote Valley to San Jose, where it empties into San Francisco Bay.
Stevens Creek is a creek in Santa Clara County, California. The creek originates in the Santa Cruz Mountains on the western flank of Black Mountain in the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve near the terminus of Page Mill Road at Skyline Boulevard. It flows southeasterly through the Stevens Creek County Park before turning northeast into Stevens Creek Reservoir. It then continues north for 12.5 miles through Cupertino, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Mountain View before emptying into the San Francisco Bay at the Whisman Slough, near Google's main campus.
The Los Gatos Creek runs 24 miles (39 km) in California through Santa Clara Valley Water District's Guadalupe Watershed from the Santa Cruz Mountains northward through the Santa Clara Valley until its confluence with the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose. The Guadalupe River then continues onward into San Francisco Bay.
San Francisquito Creek is a creek that flows into southwest San Francisco Bay in California, United States. Historically it was called the Arroyo de San Francisco by Juan Bautista de Anza in 1776. San Francisquito Creek courses through the towns of Portola Valley and Woodside, as well as the cities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and East Palo Alto. The creek and its Los Trancos Creek tributary define the boundary between San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
San Leandro Creek is a 21.7-mile-long (34.9 km) year-round natural stream in the hills above Oakland in Alameda County and Contra Costa County of the East Bay in northern California.
Arroyo Mocho is a 34.7-mile-long (55.8 km) stream which originates in the far northeastern corner of Santa Clara County and flows northwesterly into eastern Alameda County, California. After traversing the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton it joins South San Ramon Creek to become Arroyo de la Laguna, which in turn flows to Alameda Creek and thence to San Francisco Bay.
Smith Creek is a 14-mile-long (23 km) perennial stream which flows along the western flank of Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County. The creek begins near Bollinger Ridge, about 7.7 km SxSW of Mount Hamilton.
Walker Creek is a northwest-flowing stream in western Marin County, California, United States. It originates at the confluence of Salmon Creek and Arroyo Sausal and empties into Tomales Bay south of Dillon Beach, California.
Alhambra Creek is a stream in Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.
Calaveras Creek is a northward-flowing stream in Alameda and Santa Clara counties of California. It runs for 8.5 miles (13.7 km), starting from Poverty Ridge, passing through Calaveras Reservoir, and emptying into Alameda Creek east of Fremont, California.
Marsh Creek is a stream in east Contra Costa County, California in Northern California which rises on the eastern side of Mount Diablo and flows 30 miles (48 km) to the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta at Oakley, California, near Big Break Regional Shoreline. The creek flows through Marsh Creek State Park (California), where water is impounded to form Marsh Creek Reservoir, then through the city of Brentwood, California.
San Lorenzo Creek is a 10.7-mile-long (17.2 km) year-round natural stream flowing through Hayward, California and other neighboring unincorporated communities into San Francisco Bay at the Hayward Regional Shoreline.
San Felipe Creek is a 14 miles (23 km) stream that originates in the western Diablo Range in Santa Clara County, California. It flows south by southeast through two historic ranchos, Rancho Los Huecos and Rancho Cañada de San Felipe y Las Animas before it joins Las Animas Creek just above Anderson Reservoir. One of the nine major tributaries of Coyote Creek, the creek’s waters pass through the Santa Clara Valley and San Jose on the way to San Francisco Bay.
Arroyo Valle or Arroyo Del Valle is a 36.4-mile-long (58.6 km) westward-flowing stream that begins in northeastern Santa Clara County, California, and flows northwesterly into Alameda County where it is dammed to form Lake Del Valle. After that Arroyo Valle is tributary to Arroyo de la Laguna which in turn flows into Alameda Creek and thence to San Francisco Bay. In the past, the Arroyo Valle had a significant steelhead migration; however, degradation of the stream in the latter half of the 20th century has decimated this anadromous fish population.
Isabel Creek is a 18-mile-long (29 km) perennial stream which flows northwesterly along the eastern then northern flank of Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County. It joins Smith Creek to form Arroyo Hondo north of Mt. Hamilton and is part of the southernmost Alameda Creek watershed.
Chileno Creek is a stream in western Marin County, California, United States. It originates west of Petaluma, California at 220-acre Laguna Lake which straddles Marin and Sonoma Counties, from which it flows west 6.25 kilometres (3.88 mi) before joining Walker Creek, a tributary of Tomales Bay.