About Los Gatos Creek

The Los Gatos Creek runs 24 miles (39 km) from the Santa Cruz Mountains northward through the Santa Clara Valley until its confluence with the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose. Our creek has experienced many changes, including the construction of the Lexington Reservoir to support local water supply needs and creek habitat, as well as being cemented in to improve the passage of flood waters. In spite of these alterations, nature still finds a way to coexist in this flow-restricted and human controlled ecosystem.


Lods Gatos Creek

Our creek has seen the return of Chinook salmon and steelhead trout migrations. These migrations began long before Europeans settled in this valley. Even as late as the mid-nineties, Los Gatos Creek had seen hundreds of Chinook salmon spawning, but sadly, since then these numbers have declined dramatically. Where there were once thousands of fish in these waterways, we now see only dozens. One of our goals is to restore these fisheries to sustainable populations.



Vasona County Park is a rookery (breeding place) for the great blue heron. Our wildlife camera along Los Gatos Creek captured the images in the video to your right.

Blue Heron Video

Over the past several decades there has been a decline in the health of this creek. Standards have slipped, adjacent neighborhoods have watched and accepted this decline, and much of the problem has been outside of the public view.

Many have commented about how and why Los Gatos Creek is so impacted by trash. Sadly, what you will see on Los Gatos Creek is a relatively tame version of waterway conditions compared to the dreadful conditions on areas of the Coyote Creek and the Guadalupe River that both still illustrate the lingering effects of chronic encampment activity. Our creeks and homeless deserve better.

Creek Decline

We have been fortunate to have organizations join our efforts to make a difference.

The Willow Glen Neighborhood Association joined us for the Old Willow Glen Trestle clearing of encampments with 20+ campers. After seven major cleanups, plus the City/Water District cleanups, we have reclaimed this area. Many of the local homeowners were doubtful whether or not our group would succeed and had simply resolved themselves that this was unfixable.

Willow Glen cleanup

Without the support from the local agencies, corporate sponsors, and community service groups and clubs, our progress would not have reached the level it has. One group in particular, San Jose Flycasters, has supported our group financially as well as offered volunteers that were (and still are) willing to enter the creek to remove the trash upholding an ongoing commitment to this project.

Local agencies helping

We, as a community, must take a leadership role in the stewardship of our creek. Nature has an amazing ability to recover, and we are seeing the early signs of this recovery today. Recently, we have seen the return of the beaver after almost being trapped to extinction 160 years ago.

Join us for our next cleanup and you’ll see what an impact just two hours of work makes on this lovely river!