Hike Along Streams at Redwood Regional Park

Oakland, Ca – Just outside of the East Bay’s urban sprawl, Redwood Regional offers visitors the chance to see second and third-generation redwoods and a recovering stream habitat.

Species to Look Out For

About the Park

Oakland, Ca – Regional Park

Science Spotlight: Rainbow Trout at Redwood Regional

The rainbow trout is a native Californian fish species, originally found on the western coast of North America. They require good quality water to survive and reproduce. so they have become symbols of healthy American watersheds.

Their introduction to freshwater streams worldwide has resulted in their spread from their historical range. Rainbow trout have now spread to all continents in the world except for Antarctica. However, don’t be fooled by the expanded range – the rainbow trout is facing declines due to loss of quality habitats, pollution, and water diversion (to name a few). As a result, multiple species of steelhead (a special form of rainbow trout whose strategy is to migrate to the ocean as juveniles) are federally listed as endangered or threatened.

The rainbow trout’s freshwater stream habitat at Redwood Regional Park is threatened by erosion. The erosion, caused by heavy traffic from hikers, dogs, and bicyclists, causes accumulation of sediments and a decrease in stream water quality. These effects impact multiple species that use the stream for breeding – including rainbow trout and the “Special Concern”-listed California newt.

To do your part in restoring freshwater streams, be sure to stay on the trails and refrain from allowing pets to enter the stream.

Park History

Redwood Regional Park shares its legacy with many other Bay Area parks as a redwood forest ravaged by logging. The redwoods that remain today are second and third-generation kin to the giants that once stood at the park.

Visit the Park

Please note that there is a $5 vehicle fee to enter the park. Dogs are allowed on leashes, but an additional fee of $2 is charged per dog.

Here are some helpful resources to plan your visit:

Gallery

Tiny Hikers: California Newts

Meet the California Newt, a species that secretes a neurotoxin and only lives in California!

Places to See California Newts

Purisima creek circle

Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve

 

The California newt is endemic to California, meaning that it can only be found in our state.

California newts are only found along California’s coast and mountain ranges. Its range extends from Mendocino County down to San Diego County.

Like most amphibians, California newts live a dual lifestyle: they spend half of their time in water and half on land.

Adult California newts migrate annually to ponds and streams for breeding. The first rains in the fall usually initiate these migrations, which occur at night.

Males and females will mate in ponds, and females lay eggs on submerged vegetation and rocks. The eggs hatch into a larval form of the newt, similar to tadpoles that turn into frogs. The newt larva spends 2 weeks in the water, growing to lose its tail fin and gills.

Adult California newts vary in size and color.

Adults range from 4.9 to 7.8 inches long from snout to tail.

Their coloration on top varies from dark brown to orange, and their bottom ranges from yellow to orange. No matter their color variations, they are always darker on top than they are on bottom. Their skin has a rough appearance.

California newts appear very similar to other species of California newts, so be careful during identification. When you encounter a newt, pay close attention to clues like your location, the newt’s general coloration and skin texture, the coloration of the skin around the newt’s eyes, and the shape of the newt’s eyes. For an excellent guide on identification, check out this page by CaliforniaHerps.com. Also, be sure to take plenty of photos for reference!

California newts are listed by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife as a “Species of Special Concern”.

Populations of California newts in Southern California have suffered due to habitat loss. The ponds and streams that they need to breed have been destroyed by development. Introduced species (such as fish, crayfish, and bullfrogs) also pose a threat to California newts, since the introduced species are known to eat California newt eggs and larvae.

California newts eat small insects, molluscs, and the eggs of their own kind!

Their diet varies widely to include lots of insects and terrestrial molluscs (think snails and slugs). California newts have also been recorded eating the eggs and larvae of other amphibians, including their own species.

Cool facts about California newts:

  • California newts possess a toxin called “tetrodotoxin” in their skin. This toxin is the same chemical found in pufferfish.
  • California newts will migrate to the same breeding ponds that they grew up in.

Resources to learn more: