Nimbus Hatchery to Host Speaker Series

Media Contacts:

Laura Drath, CDFW Interpretive Services, (916) 358-2884
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The public is invited to attend a presentation on the effects of the ongoing drought on salmon and steelhead trout in the American River. The event will be held at the Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center in Rancho Cordova on May 3 at 11 a.m. It is the first of three planned speaker sessions at Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center this spring.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Senior Environmental Scientist Rob Titus will address the state of the salmon and steelhead runs and the challenges the drought poses to their survival. Titus will also outline actions CDFW is taking to protect these fish and increase their survival rates. Forest Williams of the Sacramento County Water Agency will then describe ways the public can reduce water use and lessen human impact on the river. Both speakers will field questions from the audience.

The event is free and preregistration is not required. Future sessions in the speaker series will include Climate Change and its Effects on Salmon and Steelhead in June and Fishing the American River in July.

Nimbus Hatchery is located at 2001 Nimbus Road in Rancho Cordova. The hatchery offers hands-on exhibits, a river bluff trail, a play area for children and opportunities to feed fish. It is open daily to the public free of charge from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

For more information about the speaker series, please call (916) 358-2884 or visit the hatchery online at www.facebook.com/NimbusHatchery.

 

CDFW Trucks Salmon Smolts to the Golden Gate to Help them Avoid Predators

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologists and the Commercial Salmon Trollers Advisory Committee are continuing an experimental project to help California’s ocean-bound juvenile salmon, in hopes of increasing survival rates. On April 8, for the third year, CDFW staff will fill a boat with approximately 100,000 young Chinook (called smolts) and move it down the Sacramento River to San Francisco Bay. Upon arrival, the smolts will be released in the Bay, where they will swim into the sea and grow to adulthood before returning upriver to spawn.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The experimental project is being conducted by CDFW fisheries biologists with the support of the Commercial Salmon Trollers Advisory Committee, which donated the use of the boat, fuel and crew time to help ensure a successful start to the study. They have committed to helping CDFW continue data collection. The fishing vessel Merva W will receive 100,000 smolts into its hold in Rio Vista on the Sacramento River the morning of April 8.

This year’s severe drought has only exacerbated the number of challenges facing salmon smolts migrating downstream. Salmon return to their spawning grounds using their sense of smell. The process, called imprinting, begins before birth as waters flow over the eggs and continues as they grow and make their way to the ocean. Each segment of water on their journey has distinctive chemical cues which they can re-trace to their spawning grounds. Water is circulated through pumps from the Sacramento River into the Merva W ‘s holding tank, where the fish are kept. The hope is that this may improve their ability to find their way back as adults. The trucking process also prevents that smolts from exposure to predators during the journey downstream.

This is the third year of a three-year experimental project to determine if barging improves smolt survival. Data collected over the next few years will be evaluated to determine if these fish had higher survival rates, if more of these fish make it back to the hatchery of origin and how this release strategy differs from others currently being used.

To form a basis of comparison for the experimental project, two other control groups of 100,000 smolts each will be released by trucks in other locations at the same time as the barge release — one under the Golden Gate Bridge and one into the Sacramento River near Rio Vista. All 300,000 fish in this experimental project are implanted with coded wire tags smaller than a tiny piece of pencil lead, which will ultimately enable scientists to tell which of the three groups the returning fish came from — the barge release, or one of the two truck releases.

Data collected from this experiment will help scientists to evaluate the efficiency of barging when compared to other release strategies, as well as to determine which group has better survival rates  and how quickly the fish make it back to their natal hatcheries (improved stray rates).

The city of Rio Vista and the Tiburon Salmon Institute at the Romberg Center are providing access for the transport boat and fish trucks.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Bill Smith, Hatchery Manager, (209) 759-3383

130515-CDFW-AJH-1434

Anglers Urged to Return Fish Tags in Timely Manner

North coast steelhead and salmon anglers are reminded to return fish tags to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in a timely manner. Tag return information is a vital tool for biologists as they calculate harvest and estimate population size of Chinook, coho and steelhead runs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“We’ve had people send us huge envelopes with several years’ worth of tags, but the information is only useful in the same season the fish are caught, ” said Mary Claire Kier, CDFW Trinity River Project Environmental Scientist. “We need anglers to send in their tags right away, before they get lost or forgotten in tackle boxes or pockets of fishing vests.”

Please return all Trinity River fish tags, by mail or in person, to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
5341 Ericson Way
Arcata, CA  95521

A tag return form can be found online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Fishing/Monitoring/FTag/.  Anglers can also simply send the tags wrapped in or taped to a piece of paper with their name, address, date and location that the fish was caught or the tag was found. Please specify if the fish was caught live or found dead, or if the tag was found loose. If the tag was found on a caught fish, please note whether the fish was kept or released.

If the tag is being returned by mail, please cut the knot off of the tag as the knot can cause the envelope to catch in the postal sorting equipment.

Media Contacts:
Mary Claire Kier, CDFW Trinity River Project, (707) 822-5876  
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

???????????????????????????????

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,521 other followers