California’s Drought Got So Bad, They Had to Truck Salmon to the Sea

During a normal spring, the Chinook salmon smolts raised at California’s Nimbus Fish Hatchery would be released into the nearby American River to make their way downstream to the Pacific Ocean. However, due to the severe drought the state is currently facing, the rivers downstream of the hatchery are far too warm to safely release the fish. This has prompted California’s Department of Fish & Game to take approximately 146 individual truckloads of smolts to the Pacific between mid-April to early June. The salmon will be trucked from the Feather River, Nimbus, Mokelumne, and Merced salmon hatcheries.

According to Jason Julienne, a salmon hatchery supervisor, “Trucking young salmon to downstream release sites has proven to be one of the best ways to increase survival to the ocean during dry conditions.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time CA DFW as trucked salmon to the sea. In 2014, the state trucked more than 30 million salmon from hatcheries to the Pacific.

To learn more about this year’s salmon trucking, check out this press release from the California Dept. of Fish & Game!

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