CDFW Plans Steelhead Planting In Thermalito Afterbay

Feather River Hatchery photo by CDFW.

The Stockton Record reports that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will plant as many as 150,000 Feather River Hatchery steelhead into Thermalito Afterbay.

Here’s the Record with more:

“We’ve planted 45,000 steelhead around seven to nine to the pound and will put 45,000 more in the afterbay,” said Penny Crawshaw at the Feather River Fish Hatchery. “We will also stock another 50,000 put-and -take (catchable) fish, weighing one to two fish per pound, around March 1.”

The big numbers of steelhead on hand are a result of the hatchery taking extra eggs last year during the Oroville Dam Spillway crisis.

“We were told to save as many eggs as could in case we had any problems. We saved almost 700,000 eggs, thanks to the pumping system that was installed,” said Crawshaw.

Good numbers of steelhead continue to return to the Feather River Fish Hatchery. The hatchery was holding a total of 947 adults, including 384 males and 563 females, at press time. The facility has taken 977,157 incubated eggs to date.

“We are returning the spawned hatchery females and wild fish back into the Feather River,” she said. “We are putting the kelts (spawned males) in the river at Verona and in the Thermalito Afterbay.”

It’s definitely some promising news coming off such an extended drought period and struggling numbers of Chinook that have dimmed Northern California’s salmon fishing prospects.