Threatened trout return to San Benito River

Gilroy Dispatch

After 75 years of abuse and countless tons of garbage dumped into it, all it took was 18 months of work from dedicated volunteers to get the San Benito River on the road to recovery.

Just a few weeks ago, a discovery was made in the river in what environmentalists are calling an historic milestone for the Pajaro River Watershed: The threatened steelhead trout are back in the river in the first confirmed sighting in three-quarters of a century.

Herman Garcia, founder of Gilroy-based Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration (CHEER), made the discovery by happenstance on a recent tour of the river, where it meets up with the Pajaro River adjacent to the Betabel property along Highway 101 at the northern end of San Benito County.

“This is huge, historic news,” Garcia said.

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