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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
COLEMAN NFH: 2010 Steelhead Smolt Release Begins at Coleman National Fish Hatchery
Region 8, January 6, 2010
Coleman National Fish Hatchery employee Jeff Laurie releases the Steelhead  into the Sacramento River. USFWS photo.
Coleman National Fish Hatchery employee Jeff Laurie releases the Steelhead into the Sacramento River. USFWS photo. - Photo Credit: n/a
Steelhead smolts pour out the distribution pipe, beginning their down stream migration to the Pacific Ocean. USFWS photo.
Steelhead smolts pour out the distribution pipe, beginning their down stream migration to the Pacific Ocean. USFWS photo. - Photo Credit: n/a

by Brett Galyean, Coleman NFH
Starting January 6th, 2010, the Coleman National Fish Hatchery located near Anderson, Calif., will release 594,000 Steelhead smolts into the Sacramento River at the Bend Bridge boat ramp. The released steelhead average about eight inches long and about one year old at the time of their release.  Transporting more than a half million steelhead from the hatchery to the main stem Sacramento River will take 5 to 6 days.  Hatchery employees will be operating two distribution trucks during that time to transport all of the steelhead, averaging about 10 trips each day.

Following their release, the steelhead will migrate down the Sacramento River through San Francisco Bay and into the Pacific Ocean. After 1 to 3 years in the ocean, the steelhead adults will return to the freshwater environment of the Sacramento River.  Once in the river, some will be harvested by anglers. Anglers can easily determine whether or not the steelhead is naturally produced or from a hatchery by the absence of the adipose fin, which is removed from all hatchery-origin steelhead.  Returning fish that escape the fishery will return to Battle Creek and the hatchery where they will be spawned, continuing the life cycle.  As steelhead are able to spawn more than once, spawned-out adults at the hatchery are also released back to Battle Creek.

Coleman National Fish Hatchery is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is located on Battle Creek, five miles upstream from the confluence of Battle Creek and the Sacramento River. The Steelhead raised at the hatchery contributes to the sport fishery on the Sacramento River and also provides adequate adult fish to support future broodstock programs. The hatchery is committed to fulfilling the station’s responsibility by meeting fish production goals to off-set the impacts of Shasta and Keswick dams, while attempting to minimize the effects of the hatchery’s operation on natural fish populations. For more information about Coleman National Fish Hatchery call us at (530) 365-8622 or visit us on the Web at http://www.fws.gov/coleman/

 

 

 

Contact Info: Brett Galyean, 530-365-8622, brett_galyean@fws.gov