Grand Opening of San Joaquin River Parkway Trail in Fresno County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and partners are pleased to announce the opening of a new link of the San Joaquin River Parkway Trail, part of the Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS), and new outdoor educational facilities at the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery. The trail stretches nearly a mile from the community of Friant to Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno County.

FINS was constructed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources and the San Joaquin River Conservancy.

“We accomplish a lot when we all work together,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “To me, this new link of the trail signifies our connection to the outdoors. It connects the public to nature, providing environmental educational opportunities that we can all be proud of for generations to come. Thank you to the partners and volunteers for their work on this important part of the trail.”

FINS includes a new parking lot located on Friant Road to serve school buses and other visitors, an outdoor classroom, trailhead facilities, interpretive exhibits and the following:

  • Small Fry Children’s Trail and “Stormy Creek” — A play area and educational introduction to ecosystems, encouraging children to learn about the life of a trout while enjoying nature. “Stormy Creek” demonstrates a bio-swale, which is a landscaped area designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water before entering a river system like the San Joaquin River.
  • San Joaquin Hatchery— conveniently located for tourists, visitors and Friant residents, offers free visitation and public viewing of the life stages of a trout.
  • Salmon Conservation and Research Facility — Construction is slated to begin within the next year on a state-of-the-art $23.7 million fisheries facility that will produce spring-run Chinook salmon for reintroduction to the San Joaquin River.

Funding for the $3.38 million project was provided by the San Joaquin River Conservancy with approval of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, using state bond funds from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) and the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2002 (Proposition 40).


Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

CDFW Releases Draft Environmental Impact Report on Planned Salmon Conservation Hatchery

Salmon Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Gerald Hatler, CDFW Central Region, (559) 243-4014, ext. 259

California’s Second Longest River One Step Closer to Restoring Historic Salmon Runs

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for a conservation fish hatchery to assist with the restoration of salmon runs in the San Joaquin River.

The proposed site of the new Salmon Conservation and Research Facility (SCARF) is located in Friant in Fresno County and adjacent to the San Joaquin River approximately 1.1 miles downstream of Friant Dam. The project, which is part of the San Joaquin River Restoration Project (SJRRP), proposes to release juvenile salmon from the facilities starting in 2015.

The DEIR describes how salmon would be collected and bred, using modern genetic management techniques to ensure genetic diversity that will produce traits that are beneficial in the wild, while minimizing impacts to the donor salmon populations. It also contains information on planned fisheries management within the plan area, among other information on environmental impacts.

An interim conservation facility is located at the site of the future SCARF and would be incorporated into the SCARF.

The DEIR can be found at and is in circulation for a 45-day comment period that will end Nov. 21, 2013. Public meetings will be scheduled during that time in Fresno and Sacramento, as follows:

– Fresno, Nov. 4, 6-8 p.m., at the California Retired Teachers Association Building, 3930 E. Saginaw Way, Fresno.

– Sacramento, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m., at the Department of Health Care Services and Department of Public Health Building, 1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento.

Comments may be made during the public meetings or by submitting them to CDFW, Attn: Gerald Hatler, SCARF Draft EIR Comments, 1234 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA 93710 or by email to

The San Joaquin River Restoration Program arose from a settlement in 2006 among the federal government, environmental groups and water users. CDFW and other state entities agreed to assist in implementation of the settlement agreement pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the state agencies and the settling parties.

The San Joaquin River, California’s second longest tributary, was the site of one of the state’s most populous salmon fisheries. Historically, over a half million spring run Chinook salmon may have migrated up the San Joaquin River. The spring and fall runs of returning Chinook salmon were eliminated after the construction of the Friant Dam in 1942.