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Upper Penitencia Creek

Santa Clara County, California.

Upper Penitencia Creek midpoint in San Jose, California.

Upper Penitencia Creek ends in San Jose, California.

66 feet (20 meters)

11.74 miles long (18.90 kilometers)

About The Upper Penitencia Creek

Upper Penitencia Creek is a River located in Santa Clara County, CA. Starting in Milpitas, CA the Upper Penitencia Creek flows 12 miles through San Jose, CA before ending in San Jose, CA. The Upper Penitencia Creek rises to an elevation of 66 feet. Find maps, fishing guides, weather and recreation information at Guidesly.


About Upper Penitencia Creek, CA

Upper Penitencia Creek is an 11-mile stream division of the main Penitencia Creek located in the northeastern Santa Clara Valley of Santa Clara County, California. It passes through the Cherry Flat Reservoir and Alum Rock Park, where it joins its principal tributary Arroyo Aguague. It diverts south-westward to its confluence with Coyote Creek at Berryessa Road, passing through the city of San Jose for about four miles along the way. The stream drains a 24 square mile area in the watershed of Coyote Creek, along with the western slopes of Mount Hamilton. 

The stream’s hydrology was altered in the early 1850s, which caused the connection between the Upper Penitencia Creek and Coyote Creek. A local landowner dug a ditch along the Arroyo Aguaje (the creek’s name in the 19th century) through the willow grove towards the Coyote Creek. This was to serve as new drainage for the flooding in the area during wintertime, however, the water flow caused the two creeks to connect together permanently. The first two miles of the creek’s canyon used to support a riparian corridor with sycamores, madrone, laurel, live oaks, California bay, alders, willows, and maples.

The vicinity around the creek also serves as great spots for recreational activities or just hanging out by the area. A lot of parks, museums, centers, gardens, markets, and theaters just lie around here, and are definitely must-see spots to check out! 

Upper Penitencia Creek Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Upper Penitencia Creek, CA

Upper Penitencia Creek is home to steelhead trout species, and the state is consistently putting measures in place to protect its populations. The creek may have also served as a habitat for coho salmon historically, according to some reports. Popular catches here include spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, and Skamania trout. California native species are also found here such as chum salmon, hardhead, coast range sculpin, pacific lamprey, Sacramento blackfish, Sacramento splittail, Sacramento sucker, and Western brook lamprey. You may also find some black crappie, channel catfish, red shiner, and pumpkinseed species while angling out here. There have also been reports of common carp, silver carp, tench, grass carp, goldfish, and alligator gar species sighted here in the area.

Ideal fishing techniques used here would be baitcasting and surfcasting. However, with the conservation projects established for the stream, you might have a hard time finding access here for sport fishing. The parks and recreational spots around the creek are open all year round, though, including a 3.5 mile shaded creek trail, so you can try to visit the creek from there. 

Upper Penitencia Creek Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

The best times to fish in Upper Penitencia Creek would be at around 2 AM to 4 AM, and around 9 AM. However, recent reports indicate that the creek is still closed for fishing year-round for an indefinite amount of time. This serves as a way to protect the trout population dwelling in the water body. Along with this creek, the Pinole Creek in Contra Costa County and the Codornices Creek in Alameda have also been closed during recent years to protect their respective steelhead populations. 

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

The best times to fish in Upper Penitencia Creek would be at around 2 AM to 4 AM, and around 9 AM. However, recent reports indicate that the creek is still closed for fishing year-round for an indefinite amount of time. This serves as a way to protect the trout population dwelling in the water body. Along with this creek, the Pinole Creek in Contra Costa County and the Codornices Creek in Alameda have also been closed during recent years to protect their respective steelhead populations. 

Upper Penitencia Creek Fish Species

All About Fishing in Upper Penitencia Creek, CA

Upper Penitencia Creek is home to steelhead trout species, and the state is consistently putting measures in place to protect its populations. The creek may have also served as a habitat for coho salmon historically, according to some reports. Popular catches here include spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, and Skamania trout. California native species are also found here such as chum salmon, hardhead, coast range sculpin, pacific lamprey, Sacramento blackfish, Sacramento splittail, Sacramento sucker, and Western brook lamprey. You may also find some black crappie, channel catfish, red shiner, and pumpkinseed species while angling out here. There have also been reports of common carp, silver carp, tench, grass carp, goldfish, and alligator gar species sighted here in the area.

Ideal fishing techniques used here would be baitcasting and surfcasting. However, with the conservation projects established for the stream, you might have a hard time finding access here for sport fishing. The parks and recreational spots around the creek are open all year round, though, including a 3.5 mile shaded creek trail, so you can try to visit the creek from there. 

Steelhead Trout

Habitat: Coastal, rivers

Weight: 2 - 35 Pounds

Length: 12" - 46"

Spotted Bass

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 11 Pounds

Length: 20" - 25"

Largemouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

Striped Bass

Habitat: River, Lake, Onshore, Near shore

Weight: 10 - 81 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"