Tag Archives: salmon

Northern California Hatchery Workers Save Millions of Trout and Salmon

Following recent heavy rains, workers at the Nimbus and American River hatcheries labored around the clock to prevent massive debris loads from clogging the main water supply for below Nimbus Dam. Their intense efforts to clean intake structures and adjust water flows during battering winds and rains saved millions of eggs and young fish over the 11-day ordeal.

After a winter deluge from Jan. 7-18, the two hatcheries’ main water source experienced clogging that affected the water distribution system, putting more than 5.5 million trout and salmon eggs and 3 million young trout, steelhead and salmon in peril.

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Hatchery worker cleaning debris from a holding tank

Both hatcheries are on a gravity water flow supply from the main intake screen at Nimbus Dam. There are no other filters until the water reaches each hatchery.

January storms swelled water levels at Folsom and Nimbus dams to the highest points since the El Niño floods of 1997-1998. The high flows resulted in a release of up to 60,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) from Nimbus Dam, while the normal rate is around 6,000-10,000 cfs. This huge water flow swept up debris that had collected above water line during the extensive drought. The debris clogged, overwhelmed and then incapacitated the automatic cleaning screen at the intake, compromising water flow to both hatcheries.

In a joint cooperative effort and at the height of the crisis, technicians from the Bureau of Reclamation devised a simple but effective way to quickly remove the debris clogging the main intake screen. They also bypassed systems that limited the time between cleaning cycles on the machinery, thereby allowing CDFW personnel to monitor the process 24 hours a day and keep water flowing to the hatcheries.

“It was a tense situation that called on our staff to work double shifts cleaning and operating the main intake structure screen and unclogging egg incubation jars inside each hatchery,” said Nimbus Hatchery Manager Paula Hoover. “They were working as fast as they could, 24/7, to save the fish.”

At American River Hatchery, the recent crisis threatened 1.4 million trout eggs in various stages of development, along with 1.7 million young trout. The fish and eggs were in danger of suffocation as the debris clog caused reduced oxygen levels and reduced the flow of water as much as 50 percent. Further complicating operations, the drum filter for the hatchery building was overwhelmed by the increased sediment, prompting workers to create a bypass to keep water flowing to the building.

The hatchery raises more than 2.5 million trout annually for planting in lakes, rivers and streams in 15 counties throughout northern and central California. More than a quarter of a million anglers utilize these waters for recreational fishing.

None of the Golden Trout rescued from the Volcanic Wilderness Area due to drought conditions were affected because they are housed in aquaculture systems that can be switched to 100 percent recirculation as needed. These Golden Trout will be kept at the hatchery until conditions in their natural habitat improve and they can be released back to the wild, likely in the late spring or early summer of this year.

At Nimbus Hatchery, 450,000 steelhead and 4.5 million salmon in various stages of development faced the same dire situation. Preparing for the worst, staff had emergency equipment ready to perform on-site releases of more than 250,000 year-old steelhead into the raging American River if conditions at the hatchery deteriorated further.

“The recreational and economic impact from potential loss of trout, salmon and steelhead from these two hatcheries would be substantial,” said North Central Region Fisheries Program Manager Kevin Thomas. “As usual, dedicated CDFW hatchery staff demonstrated exceptional care and effort, helping millions of fish survive to provide recreational, commercial and tribal fishing opportunities for California and the businesses they support.”

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Media Contacts:
Jay Rowan, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2883
Dr. Mark Clifford, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (530) 918-9450
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Fishing Report Cards Due Soon

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers and divers that Jan. 31, 2017 is the due date for turning in steelhead, sturgeon, abalone and north coast salmon report card data.

Information collected from sport fishing report cards provides CDFW biologists with important data necessary to monitor and manage California’s diverse recreational fisheries, including preparing recommendations for sport fishing seasons and limits that allow for sustainable levels of take. This science-based management helps to ensure healthy populations of fish for future generations.

Anglers and divers are required to return their report cards pursuant to section 1.74 of the California sport fishing regulations. Anglers and divers must report even if the report card was lost, they did not fish or they did not catch any fish. Cards should be reviewed carefully for accuracy prior to submitting them.

There are two ways to meet the mandatory angler reporting requirement. Online reporting (www.wildlife.ca.gov/reportcards) is easy, fast and free. Online reporting includes instant confirmation that the report has been received and accepted.

Sport fishing report cards may also be returned by mail to the addresses listed below:

North Coast Salmon Report Cards
CDFW – Klamath River Project
5341 Ericson Way Arcata, CA 95521-9269

Abalone Report Cards
CDFW – Abalone Report Card
32330 N. Harbor Drive
Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554

Steelhead Report Cards
CDFW – Steelhead Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Sturgeon Report Cards
CDFW – Sturgeon Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Lobster cards are not due until April 30.

Please note that license sales agents cannot accept report cards. More information about report cards is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

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Media Contacts:
Glenn Underwood, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5841

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Fourth Klamath Salmon Fishing Quota Nearly Met, Catch Will Be Subject to Size Restriction

North coast anglers are about to meet their seasonal salmon quota in another popular spot, triggering new restrictions on the Trinity River fishery. Monitoring efforts show that anglers above Cedar Flat on the Trinity River will have caught their quota of 183 adult fall-run Chinook, 22 inches or longer, by sundown on Friday, Oct. 21. After the quota is met, anglers will still be able to fish in this area but must release any Chinook longer than 22 inches.

The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult Chinook from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat. This fishery is still open at this time.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Sara Borok, CDFW Klamath River Project, (707) 822-0330

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Second Klamath Salmon Fishing Quota Met; Catch Now Subject to Size Restriction

Salmon anglers have met their quota for salmon in another popular Del Norte County spot for the season, triggering new restrictions on the Klamath River fishery. Monitoring efforts show that anglers below the Highway 96 Bridge in Weitchecpec caught their quota of 555 adult fall-run Chinook, 22 inches or longer, by sundown Tuesday, Aug. 23. After the quota is met, anglers are still able to fish in this area but must release any Chinook longer than 22 inches.

Yesterday, Aug. 22, the quota at the Klamath Spit Area was reached, triggering the closure of the salmon fishery in this area for the season. The Klamath River above the confluence with the Trinity River will remain open to fishing until 189 adult Chinook are caught.

The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult Chinook from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat, and 183 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. These fisheries are also still open at this time.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Sara Borok, CDFW Klamath River Project, (707) 822-0330

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

Salmon Fishing on the Klamath River Spit to Close for the Season

Anglers only have a limited time to fish for salmon in a popular Del Norte County spot before it closes for the season.

Klamath River anglers in the Spit Area (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) will have caught their sub-quota of 167 adult fall-run Chinook salmon by sundown on Monday, Aug 22, 2016. Therefore, the Spit Area will be closed to fishing one hour after dark.

Only the Spit Area is affected by this closure. Fishing downstream of the Highway 101 Bridge in the estuary will be unaffected until the lower river quota of 555 adult fall-run Chinook salmon over 22 inches is met. Once that number is met, anglers will still be able to fish but will have to release any Chinook salmon over 22 inches. As of Aug. 22, 2016, the lower Klamath River tally is 188 salmon caught.

The Klamath River above the confluence with the Trinity River will remain open until 189 adult Chinook are caught in this area.

The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult Chinook from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat, and 183 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Sara Borok, CDFW Klamath River Project, (707) 822-0330

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988