Coleman Fish Hatchery releases 300,000 salmon to study survival chances, homing instincts


The Coleman National Fish Hatchery, which is largest salmon fish hatchery in California, released approximately 300,000 salmon fry on Saturday as a part of a three-year study to examine the impact on survival and chances of homing instincts.

The salmon fry are often eaten by predatory species during their descent downstream on Battle Creek from the hatchery in Anderson.

To study their survival chances, a group came together to release approximately 180,000 salmon fry 75 miles downstream from the hatchery at Scotty’s Landing in Chico to see if that increases their survival rate. The remaining fish were released 75 miles upstream from the hatchery in Anderson to experiment with their survival and homing instincts.

The U.S. Fish Fish and Wildlife Service, the Golden Gate Salmon Association, the Nor-Cal Guides Sportsmen’s Association, UC Davis and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation all came together to conduct this experiment.

The group explained many Coleman salmon are lost in the first 75 miles of travel after release, especially in low water years. They said the success of this experiment could provide a critical way to boost salmon stocks in future low water years.

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