Over 400,000 salmon were transported from the Coleman National Fish Hatchery on Tuesday, destined for the Sacramento River.
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On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of California salmon smolt began the long journey towards the ocean. However, they will not be swimming there through the state’s parched rivers and streams. Instead, wildlife officials are trucking the juvenile Chinook salmon across hundreds of miles in climate-controlled tankers.
“This is a Herculean effort between state and federal agencies to try to stave off a fisheries disaster,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries chief Stafford Lehr told The Sacramento Bee. “Our fish right now are undergoing extreme duress due to the drought.”
California’s severe drought is affecting all sectors of the state, including an estimated $1.4 billion commercial and recreational salmon fishing industry. Wildlife officials and conservationists agree that water levels are too low for the salmon to make the journey on their own and without help, will likely result in the loss of of this year’s class of salmon.