It’s not unusual for salmon to get stranded on the Colusa Basin.
But the National Marine Fisheries Service says the magnitude of the loss in April, May, and early June was significant.
“They were basically trapped, we’re not sure how they got in. We have several different ideas but until we do more study we won’t know.” says Jeffrey McLain with the agency.
He says the fish could have been drawn in through the Yolo Bypass.
Bill Jennings with the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance says winter-run Chinook salmon also have fewer miles of cold water habitat this season.
“This could be a hard impact on a species that’s still hanging on the brink of extinction,” he says.
The National Marine Fisheries Service was able to save between 100 and 200 stranded fish, but don’t know how many died.