Matt Weiser, SACRAMENTO BEE
There’s at least one immediate benefit from the most recent storms that swept through California: Wildlife officials will temporarily stop transporting hatchery salmon by truck, and instead release those fish at the hatcheries following usual practice.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that Coleman National Hatchery near Red Bluff will pause its trucking operation to take advantage of storm runoff in Battle Creek, which flows through the hatchery, and the Sacramento River. They will release the next batch of about 4.5 million young fall-run Chinook salmon at the hatchery instead, starting Friday.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will also release about 1 million endangered spring-run Chinook salmon into the Feather River from its hatchery near Oroville. It had planned to haul these fish by truck.
Releasing salmon at their hatcheries is the preferred practice because it allows the fish to “imprint” on that location so they can find their way back from the ocean in three to four years to breed as adults.