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Friday March 17, 2023

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Under cover of darkness and with a series of cold, late-winter storms building, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff gingerly released approximately 1.1 million fall-run Chinook salmon fry (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) into the American River at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Sacramento County.

It was an evening of firsts for CDFW on Feb. 23, 2023. It was the first release of fall-run Chinook salmon into the American River in more than three years. Since the spring of 2020, drought conditions have forced the trucking of Nimbus Fish Hatchery juvenile salmon to points within the San Francisco and San Pablo bays.

It was also the first time in decades CDFW has released fall-run Chinook salmon at such a small size. The salmon fry, just three months old and only 1.5- to 2-inches in length, had just absorbed their yolk sacks and had not yet been fed by the hatchery. Typically, fall-run Chinook salmon released from the hatchery are about 6 months old and 3.5- to 4-inches in length.

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