A sockeye salmon usually found in the Northwest took a deadly wrong turn south, ending up at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River.
Under pictures of the wayward fish, Nimbus hatchery employees posted this on Facebook: “Although it’s not uncommon for salmon to take the wrong fork on their journey back to their home stream to spawn, this fellow was WAY off course. Sockeye are occasionally spotted on the Klamath River but generally occur from the Columbia River in Oregon northward.”
The best place to see a cousin of the sockeye found at the hatchery, the Nimbus staff notes, is at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center in Lake Tahoe. There, a strain of sockeye called the Kokanee swim up the creek each fall to spawn. The Fall Fish Festival at Tahoe occurs Oct. 1 and 2 at Taylor Creek.
There is no evidence that sockeye were ever native to the American River – and the hatchery does not raise sockeye.
Unfortunately, when the wandering sockeye was found at Nimbus, it was dead.