Thursday March 16, 2023

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Anticipating good conditions for the survival of hatchery-produced Chinook salmon throughout the Sacramento River and tributaries, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will release both spring and fall-run Chinook during the historic rain and snowfall the state is experiencing. Several releases have already happened, and others are planned over the next few weeks to utilize good in-river habitat conditions for these young salmon.

On Feb. 23, with a series of late-winter storms building, CDFW staff released approximately 1.1 million fall-run Chinook salmon fry into the American River at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Sacramento County. These Chinook salmon are part of a pilot study testing new genetic based tagging techniques that if successful, will allow more flexibility in fish release strategies to take advantage of natural high flow events in the future.

It was the first release of fall-run Chinook into the American River in more than three years. Since the spring of 2020, drought conditions have forced trucking of Nimbus Fish Hatchery juvenile salmon to points within the San Francisco and San Pablo bays. These 1.1 million fish are in addition to the normal 4 million smolts released annually from Nimbus Hatchery for mitigation and are also in addition to the 500,000 in increased production scheduled for 2023 to help offset losses to in-river production caused by drought.

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