Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Northern Sacramento Valley Hatchery fish released in second year of species reintroduction
The effort to bolster the species resulted from the loss of nearly the entire in-river juvenile population during the drought of 2014, 2015

April 5, 2019

Contact(s):

Brett Galyean, USFWS, 530-365-8622 Ext. 315

Laura Mahoney, USFWS, 530-365-8622 Ext. 312

John Heil, USFWS, 916-414-6636

Jim Milbury, NMFS, 562-980-4006


A winter-run Chinook salmon in August 2017 that was part of the Battle Creek reintroduction captive broodstock program at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery.

A winter-run Chinook salmon in August 2017 that was part of the Battle Creek reintroduction captive broodstock program at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery. Credit: Steve Martarano / USFWS

ANDERSON, California -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 185,000 marked juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon into the north fork of Battle Creek for the second year in a row in a continuing effort to jump-start the population.

“Last year, approximately 200,000 hatchery-reared winter-run Chinook salmon were released into Battle Creek,” said Dan Castleberry, Assistant Regional Director for Fish and Aquatic Conservation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Those fish are expected to return to Coleman National Fish Hatchery in 2020.” 

While California is home to many native salmon species, winter-run Chinook salmon face unique challenges during their life cycle.

These fish historically spawned in the cold, clear waters of the Upper Sacramento, McCloud and Pit Rivers as well as in Battle Creek. The construction of Shasta and Keswick Dams, combined with an extensive hydroelectric project on Battle Creek, blocked access to their native habitats and forced them to spawn in the unhospitable waters downstream of Keswick Dam.

Today, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon are listed as an endangered species under both federal and state law. NOAA Fisheries also considers winter-run Chinook salmon among eight marine species most at risk of extinction..

The single remaining population of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon has persisted in large part due to federal and state agency-managed seasonal cold water releases from Shasta Reservoir, to protect sensitive salmon eggs from the summer heat, and through the release of hatchery-produced juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon from a conservation program at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery. However, re-establishing self-sustaining populations in other locales is important for the recovery of these fish.

                                                                                                           -- FWS --

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/cno/ or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.                                                                                                      


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.