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Baby Salmon On The Move

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

Harry Morse with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the recent rains came at an opportune time. 

"The winter-run salmon smolts -the young fish, are going out right now and this high water event is a very good thing," says Morse. "It helps push them down into the Delta and get em moving  out through the system in a timely manner."

Many of the winter-run juveniles will begin their journey on the Sacramento River at the base of the Keswick Dam near Redding.
As the young fish begin their journey, John McManus with the Golden Gate Salmon Association hopes the Bureau of Reclamation keeps the Delta Cross Channelnear Walnut Grove closed and that pumping is kept to a minimum.

"We have no quarrel with supplying water for human health and human safety of course. We just hope that if there is pumping that exceeds that level, it be reduced or eliminated at the critical period of time." 

Biologists have been monitoring the migration, but have not collected enough information to say if the drought has affected the fish.

Morse with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the fall-run Chinook are still feeding.

"Our fall fish spawned in the hatcheries and the natural gravel -they're in the incubation process now.  And those fish won't be ready to go out until usually about April."

The Pacific Fisheries Management Council is expected to issue its forecasts on Thursday for the Salmon returning this year from the ocean.

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