TWO men were arrested in California last week in connection with an illegal marijuana plantation, which diverted water from a stream that supported steelhead trout and coho salmon.

An anonymous tip-off led to a raid on 15 July at a six-acre property in Bonny Doon, California, where 180 mature marijuana plants were seized, states a report in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Authorities confirmed that hundreds of thousands of gallons of water had been illegally diverted from the South Fork of San Vicente Creek, which supports trout and the endangered Central Coast Coho Salmon.

The raid also netted fertiliser and dozens of butane canisters, used in the production of hash oil – a concentrated form of marijuana.

Spokesman for California Fish and Wildlife, Andrew Hughan, said: ‘We care about the marijuana, but what we really care about is the damage to the environment. Our concern is the streambed alteration, the pollution and the marijuana.’

The raid was conducted by Fish and Wildlife, Cal Fire and deputies from the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County sheriff’s offices.