1.1 million ‘juvenile’ Chinook Salmon relocated due to drought, poor conditions in Klamath River

HORNBROOK, Calif — The California Department of Fish and Wildlife are relocating millions of young Chinook Salmon fish, due to the ongoing drought and poor conditions in the Klamath River.

“The conditions in the Klamath River aren’t very good for these baby fish,” Dr. Mark Clifford, Hatchery specialist for California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told NBC5. “We would normally release these fish in the spring.” 

Clifford says officials are feeding and caring for the fish at its Iron Gate, Fall Creek and Trinity River hatchery facilities until conditions improve.

“We probably won’t release the fish until October or November,” Clifford said. “It’s really challenging to raise fish during a drought.” 

Peter Tira with CDFW, says the baby salmon will be released into the Klamath River before going into the ocean waters later this year. If the Klamath River dam removal project remains on schedule, the fish will be the first in history to return post-dam removal.

“It will play a key role in helping to restore native spawning populations of Chinook Salmon.” said Tira.

Officials will continuously monitor the Klamath River for diseases, water temperatures and flow in the meantime. Clifford says he’s hoping for more water from future storms to help the process.

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