Nimbus Fish Hatchery staff continue to see the worst steelhead run on the American River, Sacramento's unique urban jewel, but a few fish continue to trickle into the river.
“We have trapped 143 adult steelhead, including 93 females and 45 males, to date,” said Gary Novak, hatchery manager. “That compares to a total of 546 adult steelhead, including 527 adults and 19 half pounders, to date last season.”
The hatchery has taken a total of 186,488 eggs so far. With some additional eggs that they received from Coleman Fish Hatchery, they plan to release 144,000 steelhead yearlings next February on the American.
“We only saw 4 new fish this week and 18 fish last week,” said Novak. “On our best week, we saw 23 steelhead.”
Novak plans to keep the fish ladder open until the end of March, hoping that some additional fish come into the facility.
Releases to the lower American below Nimbus Dam continue to be 800 cfs, low for this time of year.
During 2013 and early 2014, the Bureau of Reclamation drained Folsom to a record low level of 17 percent of capacity in order to export water to corporate agribusiness, Southern California water agencies and big oil companies. The Bureau did this in spite of it being a record drought year. Nimbus Dam releases were reduced to 500 cfs during most of the steelhead season last year.
“The steelhead died for a noble cause - almonds," quipped Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).
California's almond orchards use almost 9 percent of the state's agricultural water supply, or about 3.5 million acre feet, according to Carolee Krieger, Executive Director of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN. That's enough water to supply the domestic needs of the Los Angeles Basin and metropolitan San Diego combined - about 75 percent of the state's population. (http://m.sfgate.com/...)
For more information about the destruction of Amercian River steelhead, Delta smelt, Central Valley salmon and other species under the Brown administration, go to: http://www.indybay.org/...