Smith Creek (Santa Clara County, California)

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Smith Creek is the name of two distinct watercourses within Santa Clara County, California.

The larger of the two is located in the Diablo Range east of San Jose. The creek begins near Bollinger Ridge, about 7.7 km SxSW of Mount Hamilton. It flows westerly through Horse Valley, then turns northwest, crossing Mount Hamilton Road about 12.7 km west of Mount Hamilton (the Smith Creek Ranger Station is located at this crossing).[1] The creek continues northwest along the eastern boundary of Joseph D. Grant County Park[2] and joins Isabel Creek about 15.3 km WNW of Mount Hamilton at 37°23′00″N 121°41′34″W / 37.38333°N 121.69278°W / 37.38333; -121.69278[3], forming Arroyo Hondo and eventually draining into Calaveras Reservoir. Both Smith Creek and Arroyo Hondo were recorded in 1905 by John Otterbein Snyder as holding anadromous Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) streams.[4][5] Some of the early recorded history of the Smith Creek watershed is associated with the pioneer family of the Winsors.[6]

The smaller of the two Smith Creeks is the headwaters tributary of San Tomas Aquinas Creek,[7] but is largely dry except during the winter months. It begins in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains within the city of Monte Sereno, then flows northerly through portions of Los Gatos and Campbell until its confluence with San Tomas Aquino Creek.[8][9]

River otter (Lontra canadensis) are among the rare species observed at the University of California, Berkeley Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (in June 1999), on the Smith Creek tributary of Arroyo Hondo.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. Lick Observatory Quadrangle [map]. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Washington, D.C.
  2. ^ Biology Study for Joseph Grant County Park, Santa Clara County, California, Earth Metrics inc, prepared for the County of Santa Clara, Report #7978, October 4, 1989
  3. ^ "Smith Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  4. ^ John Otterbein Snyder, United States Bureau of Fisheries (1905). Notes on the fishes of the streams flowing into San Francisco Bay, California in Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904 30. General Printing Office. p. 337. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  5. ^ Robert A. Leidy, Gordon Becker, Brett N. Harvey (2005). Historical Distribution and Current Status of Steelhead/Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Streams of the San Francisco Estuary, California (PDF) (Report). Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration. p. 123. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  6. ^ Winsor family of Milpitas, Santa Clara County
  7. ^ Leidy, Becker and Harvey, Historical Distribution of Rainbow Trout in streams of the San Francisco Bay Area
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. Los Gatos Quadrangle [map]. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Washington, D.C.
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. San Jose West Quadrangle [map]. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Washington, D.C.
  10. ^ "Blue Oak Ranch Reserve Biodiversity". University of California. Retrieved 2012-10-20.