The Union –
It is mid-winter and time for the annual change out of steelhead in the Feather River Hatchery. Last year’s bumper crop of steelhead are ready to leave in order to make way for this year’s spawn.
A year ago in this column I wrote about the incredible surge of steelhead returning to the hatchery coincidental with the wet winter. Mother nature does have a way of balancing things out. She has been at this for a long, long time.
I am always in awe of the fact that following the poor spawning returns during the worst of the drought, there came a six fold increase of spawning fish for the drought ending winter of 2016-17. It appears to be coincidence because I do not comprehend any mechanism that could be referred to as cause and effect. This has occurred before, which convinces me that it is cause and effect. Since I don’t understand, I will just push the accept button and move on.
Out With The Old, In With The New
Starting Monday, Feb. 12, the hatchery begins removing this year’s juvenile steelhead to clean the raceways and prepare for the next generation that is in the incubation trays. The Department of Fish & Wildlife will be trucking 500,000 fish down to the Boyd’s Pump launch ramp just downstream from Yuba City on the west side of the river. It will take five days with two trips per day to complete the process.