Category Archives: hatcheries

Feather River Smolt Release to Help Biologists Study Salmon Life Cycle

On May 8, CDFW released about 1 million fall run Chinook Salmon smolts into the Feather River at the Boyd’s Pump Launch facility. This experimental in-river release will provide fisheries biologists an important opportunity to study how fish respond under specific environmental conditions, as compared to fish released at other points in the river system.

Anglers have expressed concern that striped bass predation is high during this time period on the Feather River. While predation is always a threat to the young salmon, it is only one of the challenges they face throughout their complicated life cycle. The good news is that current high river flows favor increased downriver salmon survival.

“It’s critical that a portion of the population survives the treacherous journey downriver, eventually returning to pass their genes to their offspring,” said Jay Rowan, CDFW supervising fisheries biologist. “The traits those survivors pass on will help the species adapt to current conditions and better prepare them for long-term challenges such as climate change.”

Central Valley rivers like the Sacramento, Feather, American and Mokelumne have been modified through the addition of dams, river channelization and flow control. To maximize returns and allow for naturally occurring genetic variation, hatcheries in each river system have begun to utilize a variety of release strategies including trucking a portion of the fish downstream, utilizing ocean net pens and varying release sites to improve overall salmon resiliency and survival.

More than 30 million Chinook Salmon smolts are released from hatcheries throughout California’s Central Valley each year. This upcoming release of 1 million smolts on the Feather River is only one of almost 100 different releases taking place this spring up and down Central Valley rivers, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay and into coastal net pens. Each release has a different intent and goals for contributions to ocean and inland fisheries, returns to the river and returns to the hatchery.

Feather River Hatchery alone will release 7 million fall run Chinook Salmon in 2019. In addition to the 1 million that will be released this week, another million will be trucked to Fort Baker in the San Francisco Bay and 5 million will be trucked to acclimation net pens in the San Pablo Bay.

Survival prospects for all releases are very good. This year’s large snow pack and high river flows are a far cry from the drought years with low clear water conditions that foster higher levels of predation, disease and other stressors. Survival out of the system should contribute to improved harvest opportunities in the near future.

Last month, CDFW released 600 spring run Chinook Salmon smolts into the Feather River. The fish were implanted with acoustic tags before their release, and preliminary data indicates that this group is showing a significantly higher survival rate as they travel downriver than fish that were released during low water years.

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Media Contacts:
Colin Purdy, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2943
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8911

 

 

CDFW to Sell Licenses and Warden Stamps, Meet with Public at Long Beach Fred Hall Show

Long Beach-area residents can purchase their 2019 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as 2019 Warden Stamps directly from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff at the 73rd annual Long Beach Fred Hall Show scheduled this week at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Warden stamps sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment.

CDFW leaders will participate in a discussion panel followed by a question and answer session. Participants will include law enforcement personnel and Dr. Craig Shuman, Marine Region Manager, who will provide an overview of current natural resource and conservation topics and take questions from the public on a variety of issues. The panel discussion is scheduled Friday, March 8, at 3 p.m. in the Mammoth Lakes Seminar Theater. Pete Gray, host of the radio show “Let’s Talk Hook Up,” will be the moderator.

“The annual Fred Hall Shows provide an exciting opportunity for Southern California anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to interact with our scientists, wildlife officers and other staff to get their questions answered and learn about the wide range of recreational opportunities California has to offer,” said Shuman.

The show will be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8. On Saturday, March 9, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 10, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Attendees can learn how to become a wildlife officer by speaking with CDFW wildlife officers at the law enforcement trailer. The trailer features fish and wildlife mounts, and a free laser-shot activity. Attendees can also learn about historic fish-stocking procedures as a restored 1925 Dodge truck once used by CDFW for transporting hatchery fish will be on display, along with a modern fish-transporting truck. Also featured will be information on CDFW’s Fishing in the City and hatchery programs, and a free youth fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout provided by CDFW.

Unfortunately, the Great American Duck Races will not be a feature of the Long Beach show due to an order by the State Veterinarian instituting a quarantine on birds for much of Southern California.

Admission at the Long Beach Fred Hall Show is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 62 and older, or $13 for military with ID (available only at the ticket window). Children under 15 with a paid adult are free.

CDFW will also have staff at two other Fred Hall Shows scheduled this month — March 15-17 at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield and March 28-31 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar (San Diego County).

For more information, please visit www.fredhall.com.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

 

Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 2

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Friday, Nov. 2, signaling the start of the spawning season on the American River. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery workers will open the gates in the ladder at 10:30 a.m. and will take more than a half-million eggs during the first week alone in an effort to ensure the successful spawning of the returning fall-run Chinook Salmon.

The three major state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley – Nimbus Hatchery in Sacramento County, and hatcheries on the Feather River in Butte County and the Mokelumne River in San Joaquin County – will take approximately 24 million eggs over the next two months to produce Chinook Salmon for release next spring.

Each hatchery has a viewing area where visitors can watch the spawning process. The Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center includes a playground with replicas of giant salmon. Nimbus Hatchery is open 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 spawning schedules and educational opportunities at each hatchery, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries.

There are eight state-run salmon and steelhead hatcheries, all of which will participate in the salmon spawning effort. These spawning efforts were put in place over the past half century to offset fish losses caused by dams that block salmon from historic spawning habitat.

Once the young salmon reach 2 to 4 inches in length, one-quarter of the stock will be marked and implanted with a coded wire tag prior to release. CDFW biologists use the information from the tags to chart their survival, catch and return rates.

Media Contacts:
Laura Drath, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2884
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Oroville Salmon Festival Returns on Sept. 22

The 2018 Oroville Salmon Festival is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville and in downtown Oroville.

The annual event will feature free tours to view salmon spawning, information booths, educational displays and vendor booths. The festival is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the hatchery and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Oroville.

The Feather River Hatchery, which raises Chinook salmon and steelhead along the Feather River just below Lake Oroville, will offer free tours, and an underwater viewing window at the hatchery displays migrating salmon or steelhead. The fish ladder opened at the hatchery on Sept. 14.

The hatchery also plans to unveil art created by students from Yuba City High School during the festival. The ceramics mural, which illustrates the life cycle of Chinook salmon, will be displayed outside the main office at the hatchery. Also scheduled at the hatchery are a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. and a lunch from noon to 3 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.salmonfestoroville.org.

Media Contacts:
Anna Kastner, CDFW North Central Region, (530) 538-2222
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958  

Fillmore Trout Hatchery Temporarily Closed to Public for Scheduled Maintenance

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Fillmore Trout Hatchery in eastern Ventura County will be closed to the public approximately four months beginning May 4, while the facility undergoes maintenance and repairs. All of the rainbow trout normally raised at the Fillmore Trout Hatchery have been moved to the Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County to accommodate the necessary work.

The Mojave River Hatchery underwent extensive maintenance and upgrades in 2017 and is now open to the public. The hatchery is again growing and stocking trout to approved waters in Southern California. With the Mojave River Hatchery back online, trout production and distribution is forecast to improve significantly for Southern California in 2018. It is now the Fillmore Trout Hatchery’s turn for facilities work and the Mojave River Hatchery has adequate room to raise fish for the Fillmore Trout Hatchery for the next few months.

As with the Mojave River Hatchery, the maintenance scheduled for the Fillmore Trout Hatchery will result in increased efficiencies and better trout production. The Fillmore Trout Hatchery has been in service to the public for 78 years. The maintenance and repairs scheduled include improving capability of the aeration tower, pressure washing and epoxy coating of the rearing ponds, plumbing upgrades, water and electrical use efficiencies, enhanced public outreach and educational materials for visitors and grounds work.

During the closure, Fillmore Trout Hatchery staff will perform maintenance and repairs to the raceways, buildings and equipment. Once the repair projects are complete, the hatchery will begin to receive fish and will again open to the public. CDFW estimates reopening in September or October.

For a list of fish plants, please see CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule.

Media Contacts:
Matt Norris, CDFW Desert Region, (760) 938-2242
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908