The American River Trout Hatchery operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reopened this week after warm water temperatures forced the closure of the facility in early summer.
Colder winter temperatures and recent rain are allowing hatchery staff to begin filling the raceways with cooler river water and start to produce rainbow trout for planting in northern California lakes this summer.
“The drought forced us to think quickly and make the best decisions for the health of the fish,” said Dr. Bill Cox, CDFW Fishery Program Manager. “Because of the rain and colder weather, we can start producing trout right away.”
In June, CDFW moved all rainbow trout out of the American River Hatchery to avoid losses of young fish due to rising water temperatures. Both Nimbus and American River hatcheries’ water supply comes from Lake Natoma, upstream of the hatcheries. Drought conditions resulted in reduced water supplies stored in Folsom Lake and warm summer temperatures increased the water temperature of the available water, exceeding tolerable temperatures for growing fish.
The trout being grown now will be available for planting in state waters beginning in January 2015.
For the fish stocking schedule, please visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/.
For complete fishing regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations.
Dr. Bill Cox, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 358-2827
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944