Illegal salmon traps plague San Jose creeks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The sight of salmon in San Jose creeks has been an exciting development for volunteers dedicated to the health of South Bay waterways.

But, there's a problem.

People are creating traps in the creeks to poach the fish.

South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition founder, Steve Holmes, showed us one example off Willow Street, near Highway 87.

Rows of rocks have been placed across the creek making it impossible for salmon to spawn upstream. Instead, the fish are getting caught in the shallow pools formed by the rocks.

Holmes and his volunteers have been systematically checking on the area and removing rocks to give the salmon a path to continue on their way.

In other locations, volunteers have found actual nets.

It is illegal to fish for salmon in the creeks.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told ABC7 News they are well aware of the problem. Peter Tira said it appears homeless people are responsible for the traps. He said they're working with law enforcement and city leaders on an all-encompassing solution-rather than handing out tickets for fishing without a license.

Meantime, Holmes said he will continue to clear the creeks by hand.

The Coalition is always looking for volunteers to pitch in.

For more information check out the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition website or Facebook page.
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