In 1869, Coyote Creek meandered through the growing town of San Jose, with smoke stacks billowing and houses springing up. And, the creek was a broad expanse flowing through a mostly rural tree lined landscape and included a flood plain for seasonal rains. To learn more about the historical ecology of Coyote Creek, read the Coyote Creek Watershed Historical Ecology Study Executive Summary, commissioned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Now it’s a narrow ribbon of a very confined stream with most of its wild meanders straightened out of it and surrounded by homes and businesses and freeways. Fish barriers, including metal culverts that are several feet above the water make it nearly impossible for the fish to migrate to their spawning grounds.