The fish ladder at Nimbus Hatchery on the American River opens Monday, and salmon are reportedly piling up waiting to use it.
The Chinook salmon run is an annual spectacle on the American River as the giant fish return each fall from the ocean to spawn. This year, the run that continues into December should be noteworthy, because the salmon population is expected to rebound significantly from recent lows.
The fish ladder leading to the hatchery is a great place to view the run, and visitors can stand alongside the ladder while the big salmon jump into the hatchery. The ladder is scheduled to open at 10:45 a.m. Monday.
“There will definitely be fish,” said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which operates the hatchery.
Nimbus Hatchery exists to atone for the loss of upstream salmon habitat caused by construction of Folsom and Nimbus dams in the 1950s. Although many salmon still spawn naturally in the American River below the dams, hatchery-raised salmon make up most of the river’s production.
The hatchery is located at 2001 Nimbus Road, Gold River, just off the Hazel Avenue exit on Highway 50. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call (916) 358-2884 or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/Nimbus.
Call The Bee’s Matt Weiser at (916) 321-1264. Follow him on Twitter @matt_weiser