Wednesday October 26, 2022

Stockton Record

The number of fall-run Chinook salmon returning to federal and state fish hatcheries this season confirm what anglers have seen on the Sacramento, Feather and American rivers – relatively low numbers of fish have come back to spawn in the low and warm conditions.

With the exception of some good days at the mouth of the American River and at the Barge Hole on the Sacramento River, fishing has been tough on all three rivers since the salmon season opened on July 16. The one bright spot has been the lower Mokelumne River, where anglers have been catching lots of salmon lately.

The Coleman National Fish Hatchery on Battle Creek, a Sacramento River tributary, has seen an estimated 5,000-6,000 fish so far this season. In contrast, 10,000-14,000 fish return to Battle Creek in a normal year.

“Staff at the hatchery have been busy,” according to the Coleman Fish Hatchery Facebook Page. “Each adult female Chinook salmon has about 5,000 eggs.  Here are some quick hatchery math facts: to collect one million eggs we need to spawn at least 200 females. To get 12 million eggs we need a minimum of 2,400 females (and 2,400 males). “

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