Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I saw a Trout and it made me feel good.

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

People that walk or hike the trails on the east side of the San Francisco Bay will appreciate what I saw today. I was walking along the Golden Spike Trail towards the Stream Trail and I planned on heading up Chown to French then back along and back down Orchard Trail.

I was about quarter of a mile past the fish run when I heard this splash in the stream. We have water in the creek for the first time in a long time. It has been dry for quite a while. I step to the edge of the creek and I see this fish heading upstream to spawn.

I couldn't believe it. I have walked these trails for 20 years and have never seen a fish. If it's not dry it's empty of fish as far as I could tell.  I thought at first it was a Salmon given its size but I'm pretty certain it was a Rainbow Trout. This might not seem a big deal but it is. There is an effort to revive the fish and wildlife that live here. People on Facebook are familiar with my mushroom videos, the Amanita Muscaria, the dreaded Amanita Phaloides, more widely known as the California Death Angel, but this was something else to see, a big lone Trout struggling against the stream literally.

I stopped a couple of other hikers so they could share in my excitement, they too had never seen a fish here, they didn't think there were any.  I often walk these trails and as I enjoy the beauty of the Redwoods, and there is something special about Redwoods, I imagine what it must have been like 150 years or more ago.  These streams were probably raging rivers full of fish.  There were once Grizzlies up here.  There is a great book* about the local people, the Ohlone's that prospered here before the invasions. The Bay Area was like a paradise with a temperate climate, an abundance of fish and fowl and meat.

Amanita Muscaria
As if this was not exciting enough, and anyone that lives here and walks these trails understands what I mean, a little after spotting this Trout I saw the endangered California Newt.  Capitalism has no respect for this beauty, no respect for the natural world and is in fact hostile to nature. It will destroy life as we know it if it is not stopped.

If it was left to capitalism and the private sector, such beautiful places like I was in today would be the sole pleasure of the rich and powerful.  I see Paul Allen and his mega yacht did some serious damage to the Cayman Reef. These pigs have no humanity. Thanks to the East Bay Regional Parks District and the workers that manage and upkeep these beautiful trails we have here. There are not many large urban areas with such beauty so close.

* The Ohlone Way

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