Tag Archives: hatcheries

Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 2

 

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Wednesday, 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 ladder gates at 10:45 a.m. Hatchery employees may take more than a half-million eggs during the first week of operation alone in an effort to ensure the successful spawning of the returning fall run Chinook salmon.

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There are eight state-run salmon and steelhead hatcheries, all of which will participate in the salmon spawning effort. Over the next two months, the three major state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley – the Nimbus Hatchery in Sacramento County, the Feather River Hatchery in Butte County and the Mokelumne River Hatchery in San Joaquin County – will take approximately 24 million eggs in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.

Each hatchery has a viewing area where visitors can watch the spawning process. The visitors’ center at Nimbus Hatchery also includes a playground with replicas of giant salmon that are enjoyed by young and old alike. For more information about spawning schedules and educational opportunities at each hatchery, please visit the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries.

Together, state and federally operated hatcheries raise 40 million juvenile salmon for release into California waters each year. Once the young salmon reach 2 to 4 inches in length, one-quarter of the stock are marked and implanted with coded wire tags prior to release. CDFW biologists use the information from the tags to chart survival, catch and return rates. These massive spawning and tracking efforts were put in place over the last 50 years to offset fish losses caused by dams that block salmon from historic spawning habitat.

Media Contacts:
Laura Drath, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 358-2884
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Mt. Shasta Hatchery “Kids’ Fishing Days” Canceled Indefinitely

Due to an outbreak of Whirling Disease last year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be canceling the popular “Kids’ Fishing Days” at the Mt. Shasta Hatchery indefinitely. The hatchery typically hosted several such events each summer.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to cancel an event that’s been held annually since 1992,” said Neil Manji, CDFW Northern Region Manager. “However, we need to continue our careful decontamination process at Mt. Shasta in order to ensure the long-term health of the fish there.”

Mt-shasta-Hatchery-346
Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery

A separate “Kids’ Fishing Day” is still scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at Grace Lake in Shingletown. Similar events were held in March and April in Redding and Bend.

Whirling disease is caused by Myxobolus cerebralis, a protozoan parasite that destroys cartilage in the vertebral column of trout and salmon. It is fatal or disfiguring to infected trout and salmon but does not affect humans. Fish infected with whirling disease are safe for human consumption.

Whirling disease was found in three CDFW hatcheries in 2015 and has been contained with hatchery operations resuming in all three. CDFW pathologists routinely inspect each of the 13 state-run trout hatcheries which raise approximately 10 million trout for California anglers statewide, as well as the nine hatcheries that raise over 31 million young salmon and steelhead.

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Media Contacts:
Monty Currier, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2368

Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 2

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Monday, 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 9:30 a.m. and may 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. 

California is entering what may be a fifth year of unprecedented drought. Because of current river conditions, salmon are returning later in the year than typical. Overall, the fall-run Chinook salmon return numbers are lower than normal. CDFW seeks to match historic hatchery production goals this year, but that may not be possible given the conditions.

“Drought conditions may affect the number of salmon returning to the river to spawn, but hatchery workers will continue to collect eggs throughout the fall with a goal of producing four million salmon fry,” said CDFW Program Manager Dr. Bill Cox. “We are working closely with other federal and state agencies to release cold water into the river system to give salmon the best chance to get up river to the hatchery.”

The three major state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley – the 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 in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.

Each hatchery has a viewing area where visitors can watch the spawning process. Thousands of schoolchildren tour the Nimbus and Feather River hatcheries each year. The visitors’ center at Nimbus Hatchery includes a playground with replicas of giant salmon that are enjoyed by young and old alike. For more information about spawning schedules and educational opportunities at each hatchery, please visit the CDFW website at 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. Those hatcheries, along with federally run hatcheries, will be responsible for the release of approximately 40 million juvenile salmon into California waters. These massive spawning efforts were put in place over the last 50 years 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 coded wire tags prior to release. CDFW biologists use the information from the tags to chart the salmon’s survival, catch and return rates.

Media Contacts:
Laura Drath, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 358-2884
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Quarantined Shasta County Hatchery to Reopen

Darrah Springs Hatchery, operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), was partially released from quarantine on Oct. 9 after being in quarantine since May because of whirling disease.
 
Extensive DNA testing of the fish by a commercial sciences lab have determined that all the trout in the hatchery building and the lower rearing ponds are free of the disease and the hatchery is resuming normal operations for that portion of the facility.  
 
“We were able to save thousands of fish by isolating them from the disease and will be able to grow and plant them into state waters very soon,” said Linda Radford, CDFW Regional Hatchery Supervisor. “Unfortunately part of the hatchery is still infected and we will have to destroy some fish.”
 
The upper part of the hatchery, located near the town of Paynes Creek, is still infected with the disease; the fish there will be destroyed, recycled and used for pet food and other purposes. The fish rearing areas still infected will be dried up and not utilized until the water supply can be either disinfected through a water treatment system or pathology testing verifies that the water supply no longer is infected.
 
Approximately 160,000 fish will be euthanized. The disposal of infected hatchery-raised trout is a necessary precaution to prevent the spread of disease to non-infected state waters where the fish would normally be planted.
 
Whirling disease is caused by Myxobolus cerebralis, a protozoan parasite that destroys cartilage in the vertebral column of trout and salmon. It can be fatal to infected trout and salmon but does not affect humans or other wildlife or fish. The whirling disease parasite is naturally present in some streams and rivers in California. Hatchery outbreaks are unusual but not unheard of (there has never been another outbreak of whirling disease in the department’s hatcheries in northern California).
 
Darrah Springs Hatchery supplies catchable trout for waters in Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties and is one of 21 state-run hatcheries that provide millions of fish for California anglers.
 
Media Contact:
Andrew Jensen, CDFW Northern Region (530) 225-2378               
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Shasta County Hatchery Closed for Environmental Renovations, Expected to Re-open in Late Fall

The Crystal Lake Hatchery in eastern Shasta County is currently closed to the public while a major environmental restoration is underway in nearby Rock Creek.Crystal Lake Hatchery sign

“Because there is so much construction work and equipment on the property, we had to close the viewing area and temporarily cancel tours to keep the public and the workers safe,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Senior Hatchery Supervisor Linda Radford. “We will continue to grow and plant trout during construction and will welcome back visitors as soon as possible.”

Crystal Lake Hatchery spawns, raises and releases catchable rainbow trout every year for planting in northern California lakes. It is one of 23 state-run hatcheries that provide millions of fish for California anglers.

The Rock Creek restoration project consists of re-routing the hatchery supply pipeline and moving a diversion dam on Upper Rock Creek to a new location downstream. The project will create habitat for the endangered Shasta crayfish while maintaining a continuous, clean water supply to the hatchery via a water recirculation system.

The hatchery is scheduled to be closed to visitors for most of October and November. Visitors may call the hatchery at (530) 335-4111 for more information and updates.

A map of the work location and affected waterways can be found here.

A complete listing of state hatcheries can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries.

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Media Contact:
Andrew Jensen, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2378
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944