Wednesday April 5, 2023

NBC Bay Area

A tanker trunk backed confidently down a boat ramp at Boyd’s Landing in Yolo County, looking as if it were about to dump a load of fuel into the briskly flowing Feather River. But as the driver flipped a metal lever on the back of the tank, the stream flowing into the river was instead a torrent of water flecked with the gyrating bodies of hundreds of thousands of chinook salmon smolts.

This release of salmon, reared from eggs in the nearby Feather River Fish Hatchery, represents a future investment in the state’s salmon population — even as the current ocean population of chinook is so depleted from drought that fishery managers cancelled the 2023 salmon season fishery for only the second time in history.

“The fish that are returning this coming fall were experiencing some of the worst drought years we’ve had,” said Jason Julienne, senior environmental scientist supervisor with the Calif. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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