State and federal fish and wildlife agencies will take a significant step today in restoring what was once the largest salmon run in California. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, thousands of hatchery-raised spring-run Chinook salmon will be released into the San Joaquin River.
Before the Friant Dam was built near Fresno in the 1940’s, tens of thousands of salmon spawned in the San Joaquin River. But their populations plummeted and a section of the river now runs dry. As part of the San Joaquin River restoration project, wildlife agencies will release 54,000 hatchery produced juvenile salmon.
They’ll be transported below Friant Dam and acclimate to the San Joaquin for several days before being released. The juveniles are expected to return to the river as adults in 2017. The returning adults will be monitored to determine their survival rate and their spawning location. Fish and wildlife agencies hope to use the information to help future populations survive.