Rodeo Creek

Last updated
Rodeo Creek
Country United States
State California
Region Contra Costa County
City Rodeo, California
Source Franklin Ridge
 - location 2 mi (3 km) southwest of Martinez, California
 - elevation 980 ft (299 m)
 - coordinates 37°58′58″N122°9′48″W / 37.98278°N 122.16333°W / 37.98278; -122.16333   [1]
Mouth San Pablo Bay
 - location Rodeo, California
 - elevation 7 ft (2 m) [1]
 - coordinates 38°2′21″N122°16′3″W / 38.03917°N 122.26750°W / 38.03917; -122.26750 Coordinates: 38°2′21″N122°16′3″W / 38.03917°N 122.26750°W / 38.03917; -122.26750   [1]

Rodeo Creek is an 8.3-mile-long (13.4 km) [2] intermittent stream in western Contra Costa County, California running through the town of Rodeo [3] to San Pablo Bay.

Contra Costa County, California County in California, United States

Contra Costa County is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Rodeo, California Census-designated place in California, United States

Rodeo is a census-designated place (CDP) located in Contra Costa County, California, in the East Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area, on the eastern shore of San Pablo Bay, 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. The population was 8,679 at the 2010 census. The town is named for the livestock roundups common in the late 19th century. Cattle from the surrounding hills were regularly driven down through the old town to a loading dock on the shoreline of San Pablo Bay for shipment to slaughterhouses, a practice which continued through the early 20th century. The town of Rodeo is served by the Interstate 80 freeway and State Route 4. The Southern Pacific Railroad main line passes through Rodeo. Rodeo has not been a stop on the railroad since the 1950s.

San Pablo Bay bay in San Francisco Bay area

San Pablo Bay is a tidal estuary that forms the northern extension of San Francisco Bay in the East Bay and North Bay regions of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.



Rodeo Valley appears on a plat of the Rancho El Pinole in 1860 and Rodeo Creek on another in 1865. [4]

Rancho El Pinole was a 17,761-acre (71.88 km2) Mexican land grant along Carquinez Strait in present-day Contra Costa County, California.

Watershed and Course

The Rodeo Creek watershed drains about 10 square miles (26 km2), gathering flows from numerous small tributaries originating on the southwest slopes of Franklin Ridge. [5] The creek flows in a generally north to northwesterly direction approximately 8.3 miles (13.4 km) to San Pablo Bay. [6] The town of Rodeo has a 1.1 miles (1.8 km) flood control channel.

Since 1874, the Union Pacific Railroad (then known as the Southern Pacific Railroad) traversed the shoreline at the mouth of Rodeo Creek. In 1890 the Rodeo Dam and Reservoir were constructed in the lower watershed but was decommissioned and used for fill to construct the Interstate 80 crossing. [7] [8] Further up Rodeo Creek it is also transected by Highway 4.

Union Pacific Railroad Class I railroad in the United States

The Union Pacific Railroad is a freight hauling railroad that operates 8,500 locomotives over 32,100 route-miles in 23 states west of Chicago and New Orleans. The Union Pacific Railroad system is the second largest in the United States after the BNSF Railway and is one of the world's largest transportation companies. The Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of the Union Pacific Corporation ; both are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

Interstate 80 Interstate from California to New Jersey

Interstate 80 (I-80) is an east–west transcontinental freeway in the United States that runs from downtown San Francisco, California, to Teaneck, New Jersey, in the New York City Metropolitan Area. The highway was designated in 1956 as one of the original routes of the Interstate Highway System. Its final segment was opened to traffic in 1986. It is the second-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, following I-90. The Interstate runs through many major cities including Oakland, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Des Moines, and Toledo, and passes within 10 miles (16 km) of Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City.

California State Route 4 State highway in California

State Route 4 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California, routed from Interstate 80 in the San Francisco Bay Area to State Route 89 in the Sierra Nevada. It passes through Ebbetts Pass and contains the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, a National Scenic Byway.


Threatened and/or endangered species that inhabit the middle watershed include Western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata), Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) and in the middle and lower watershed, California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii). [7] The Rodeo Creek watershed also hosts the only population of federally endangered Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens).

Western pond turtle species of reptile

The western pond turtle, also known commonly as the Pacific pond turtle is a species of small to medium-sized turtle in the family Emydidae. The species is endemic to the western coast of the United States and Mexico, ranging from western Washington state to northern Baja California. It was formerly found in Canada, but in May 2002, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed the Pacific pond turtle as being extirpated.

Coopers hawk species of bird

Cooper's hawk is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. The birds found east of the Mississippi River tend to be larger on average than the birds found to the west. Other common names for the Cooper's hawk include: big blue darter, chicken hawk, flying cross, hen hawk, quail hawk, striker, and swift hawk.

California red-legged frog species of amphibian

The California red-legged frog is a species of frog found in California (USA) and northern Baja California (Mexico). It was formerly considered a subspecies of the northern red-legged frog. The frog is an IUCN vulnerable species, and a federally listed threatened species of the United States, and is protected by law.

The watershed is mostly grasslands but a mix of coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)/California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) woodland and valley oak (Quercus lobata) woodland inhabits northern facing hillslopes in the upper watershed and there is an unusually high diversity of oak tree species, with five species found in the watershed. [8]

Electrofishing in 1974,1981 and 1994 did not reveal steelhead trout. [6] Two grade-control drop structures from the flood control channel in the lower watershed are partial barriers to fish passage since the early 1960s, however, early land use activities in the late 1800s had the first and perhaps most profound impacts upon anadromous fish. [7] Fish surveys in 1984 observed hitch, Sacramento pikeminnow, California roach, Sacramento sucker, three-spined stickleback and non-native mosquito fish at various sites in the lower watershed. [9]

The John Muir Land Trust (MHLT) owns three properties in the watershed, the 702 acre Fernandez Ranch and 483 acre Franklin Canyon property. [8] [10]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rodeo Creek
  2. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 15, 2011
  3. TopoQuest topographic map, USGS, retrieved July 5, 2008
  4. William Bright (30 November 1998). 1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, A Revised version of 1000 California Place Names by Erwin G. Gudde, Third edition. University of California Press. pp. 125–. ISBN   978-0-520-92054-5.
  5. "Franklin Ridge". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey.
  6. 1 2 Leidy, R.A., G.S. Becker, B.N. Harvey (2005). Historical distribution and current status of steelhead/rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in streams of the San Francisco Estuary, California (PDF) (Report). Oakland, California: Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 Laurel M. Collins (February 2008). Stream Network and Landscape Change in the Rodeo Creek Watershed (Report). Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  8. 1 2 3 Rodeo Creek Watershed Vision Plan (PDF) (Report). Contra Costa County Resource Conservation District. 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  9. Leidy, R.A. (1984). "Distribution and ecology of stream fishes in the San Francisco Bay drainage" (PDF). Hilgardia. 52 (8). Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  10. "Fernandez Ranch". John Muir Land Trust. Retrieved February 15, 2016.

Related Research Articles

Arroyo Hondo (Santa Clara County, California) river in the United States of America

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.

Coyote Creek (Santa Clara County)

Coyote Creek is a river that flows through the Santa Clara Valley in California, United States.

Stevens Creek (California) river in the United States of America

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.

Alameda Creek river in the United States of America

Alameda Creek, originally 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.

Graham Creek is a 2.9-mile-long (4.7 km) perennial stream in Sonoma County, California, tributary to Sonoma Creek. Graham Creek rises in the northern Sonoma Mountains and flows generally northeasterly down the northeastern flank of Sonoma Mountain. Historically this watercourse was called Wild Water Creek, a name used in the time of author Jack London, some of whose work was inspired by the stream. Steelhead, Oncorhynchus mykiss, have historically entered Graham Creek via Sonoma Creek for spawning. Stream surveys conducted from 1966 to 1986 indicated significant, but declining populations of anadromous fish. The spawning habitat of Graham Creek is considered medium to high value, with both winter and summer sheltering characteristics.

San Francisquito Creek river in the United States of America

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 river in the United States of America

San Leandro Creek, formerly Arroyo de San Leandro is a 21.7-mile-long (34.9 km) year-round natural stream in the Berkeley Hills, in Alameda County and Contra Costa County of the East Bay in northern California.

Smith Creek (Santa Clara County, California)

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.

Wildcat Creek (California) river in the United States of America

Wildcat Creek is a 13.4-mile-long (21.6 km) creek which flows through Wildcat Canyon situated between the Berkeley Hills and the San Pablo Ridge, emptying into San Pablo Bay in Contra Costa County, northern California.

Pinole Creek river in the United States of America

Pinole Creek is a stream in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Alhambra Creek river in the United States of America

Alhambra Creek is a stream in Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.

Permanente Creek river in the United States of America

Permanente Creek is a 13.3-mile-long (21.4 km) stream originating on Black Mountain in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is the namesake for the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization. Named by early Spanish explorers as Arroyo Permanente or Rio Permanente because of its perennial flow, the creek descends the east flank of Black Mountain then courses north through Los Altos and Mountain View culminating in southwest San Francisco Bay historically at the Charleston Slough but now diverted via the Permanente Creek Diversion Channel to Stevens Creek and the Mountain View Slough in San Francisco Bay.

Marsh Creek (California) river in the United States of America

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.

Saratoga Creek river in the United States of America

Saratoga Creek is a north-northeast flowing creek in Santa Clara County, California.

Corte Madera Creek (Marin County, California)

Corte Madera Creek is a short stream which flows southeast for 4.5 miles (7.2 km) in Marin County, California. Corte Madera Creek is formed by the confluence of San Anselmo Creek and Ross Creek in Ross and entering a tidal marsh at Kentfield before connecting to San Francisco Bay near Corte Madera.

Corte Madera Creek (San Mateo County, California) river in the United States of America

Corte Madera Creek is a 7.3-mile-long (11.7 km) creek that flows north-northwest to Searsville Dam and then joins with Bear Creek to form San Francisquito Creek in California.

Calabazas Creek (Santa Clara County) river in the United States of America

Calabazas Creek is a 13.3-mile-long (21.4 km) northeast by northward-flowing stream originating on Table Mountain in Saratoga, California in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It courses through the cities of Saratoga, San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, culminating in the Guadalupe Slough in south San Francisco Bay.

San Tomas Aquino Creek river in the United States of America

San Tomas Aquinas Creek, known locally as San Tomas Aquino Creek, is a 16.5-mile-long (26.6 km) stream that heads on El Sereno mountain in El Sereno Open Space Preserve in Saratoga, California in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It flows north through the cities of Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, Campbell, Santa Clara and San Jose before its confluence with the Guadalupe Slough in south San Francisco Bay.

Cordilleras Creek is a 3.8-mile-long (6.1 km) northward-flowing stream originating in the Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It forms the border between San Carlos and Redwood City in San Mateo County, California, United States before entering Smith Slough where its waters course to Steinberger Slough and thence to San Francisco Bay.

Isabel Creek river in the United States of America

Isabel Creek is a 18-mile-long (29 km) perennial stream which flows northwestly 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.