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).
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072
The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Nov. 5, signaling the start of the spawning season on the American River. Department of Fish and Game (DFG) hatchery workers will open the gates from the river 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 – 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 38 million eggs over the next two months in order to produce an estimated 24 million Chinook salmon for release next spring.
Each hatchery has a viewing area where visitors can watch the spawning process. At Nimbus and Feather River hatcheries, thousands of schoolchildren tour the facilities 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 DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/HatList.asp.
Around the state, 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 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 a coded wire tag prior to release. DFG biologists use the information from the tags to chart their survival, catch and return rates.
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944
Mark Clifford, DFG Hatchery Coordinator, (530) 918-9450
Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
The Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters program (CalTIP) will give up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of trout thieves. The thieves are responsible for stealing approximately 1,000 trout from the San Joaquin Hatchery last weekend. The toll-free, 24-hour CalTIP hotline is 888-334-2258. The value of the fish and the cost to repair the damage to the hatchery elevate the crime to a felony.
On Aug. 21, between 3 and 4 a.m., someone forced entry into the San Joaquin Trout Hatchery and stole up to 1,000 large trout. They also killed and left another 70 large trout in the process. The trout weighed three-to-four-pounds each and had been growing in the hatchery for three years. DFG wardens have collected evidence at the scene and hope to get additional information from anyone who may have seen someone trying to sell the trout.
Citizens are encouraged to be watchful for anyone attempting to sell trout on the street, outdoors markets, or markets where trout are not normally sold. Physical descriptions, vehicle license plate numbers, time, date and locations would be extremely helpful.
For details on the CalTIP program, please see www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.aspx.