Feather River Hatchery in CA Expects Good Early Returns of Salmon

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Healthy returns of both spring and fall run Chinook salmon are expected when the Feather River Hatchery opens the spawning holding pen gate Wednesday. The hatchery gate is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. on Sept. 15. Based on observation of the number of salmon holding in the river below the hatchery, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 fish are likely to return to the hatchery over the next few weeks. They will be spawned in the hatchery over the next two months.

“A good return of spring and fall run Chinook salmon should help the Feather River Hatchery meet its egg take goal of 12 million,” said Hatchery Manager Anna Kastner. We strive to take eggs from each segment of the total return each fall.

The sport fishing season on the Feather River, which ran from July 31 through Aug. 29, was targeted to harvest approximately 1,000 fall run Chinook salmon. That goal was reached by the end of the season. A total of 8,200 Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook salmon were allotted for harvest on the Sacramento River and its tributaries based on this year’s harvest allotments by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Season dates and limit restrictions were also set specifically to support harvest allocation goals. Due to high water conditions, bank fishing was not as productive as in past years, and most of the salmon caught were taken by boat anglers.

The hatchery’s spawning program ensures that the spawned salmon will not go to waste. One half of all the fish are made available to local tribal representatives and the other half will be given to California food banks through a state contractor.