Monday July 1, 2024

San Francisco Chronicle

When Randy Renn, a biologist with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, first started monitoring steelhead trout at Alameda Creek near Sunol in 2015, his traps were usually empty. This year, for the first time, he has too many fish to keep track of.

“It’s been a lot of work for sure, but rewarding work,” Renn said, who has been coming down to the creek to catch the trout every day since his fish-tagging season began on Feb. 1. “Just to be here and see that increase, it’s phenomenal.” 

The dramatic increase in the steelhead is part of a larger, decades-long effort to restore the habitat of this native species that has been trapped in creeks in the hills and unable to make its migratory journey to the ocean. This year the endangered fish began making the entire journey through Niles Canyon and the final urban stretch to the San Francisco Bay in meaningful numbers.

Last year, the agency detected only one steelhead trout making the journey. This year, scientists have been able to detect 50 fish completing the route.

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