Three million young Chinook salmon, or smolts, will be released at the mouth of the American River the week of May 10. They were raised at Nimbus Hatchery on the lower American River by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
The release site was selected based on new information and studies that show young salmon released near the mouth of their home river are more likely to return to that river two to five years later to spawn.
“Our goal is to increase the spawning returns of fish reared at Nimbus Hatchery to the lower American River,” said Senior Environmental Scientist Joe Johnson of DFG’s Central Region.”Last year more than half of the salmon returning to the American River originated from the Mokelumne, Feather or Upper Sacramento rivers. This year we’re taking clear steps to ensure that more fish return to the waters where they were raised.”
To ensure the highest survival rates of the smolts on their down river migration, DFG and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) are coordinating release timing, flows and closure of the Cross Channel Gates operated by BOR during the short migration period.