Daily KOS –
On May 29, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sent a letter to the California Department of Water Resources inquiring into the stranding and deaths of thousands of spring run Chinook salmon on the Feather River in April, as reported by guides and fishermen out on the river.
The stranding began three days after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released 333,442, spring-run Chinooks from the Feather River Fish Hatchery at Gridley and another 332,692 at Boyd’s Pump, a total of 666,134 salmon, according to James Stone, fishing guide and president of the Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association.
Guides and fishermen reported thousands of juvenile fish were stranded up and down the river 3 days after the release when flows were dropped dramatically.
“Three days after the fish releases, DWR dropped releases by 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), from 25,000 cfs to 14,750 cfs, within less than 24 hours. This made the river drop inside of its bank, leaving baby salmon in pools stranded outside of the river,” said Stone.
“Concerned anglers did fish rescues. They took the stranded fish from the pools and put them back into the river. They rescued thousands of fish,” said Stone.
The spring Chinook is a state and federally listed threatened species.