American River Hatchery Steelhead Release

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steehead rainbow troutApproximately 420,000 steelhead have been released into the American River, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The juvenile steelhead were raised at Nimbus Fish Hatchery and released into the American River just upstream of the I Street Bridge in Sacramento.

Due to the high water conditions, the juvenile fish are expected to make excellent time traveling down the Sacramento River to the Bay and eventually on to the Pacific Ocean.

Fish health assessments by CDFW pathologists found the steelhead to be in satisfactory condition and near the average weight for fish their age prior to release.

Staff at Nimbus Fish Hatchery nursed the young steelhead through several potentially devastating conditions, including drought-induced high water temperatures in the hatchery last summer and winter flood conditions that nearly cut off usable water supplies and carried dangerous levels of silt into the hatchery’s normally clean water distribution system.

Annual returns of mature steelhead to Nimbus Hatchery have varied widely in recent years, from a high of 3,409 in 2013 to a low of just 150 the following year. All the fish in this release were marked with an adipose fin clip.

source: California Department of Fish and Wildlife