Plusieurs millions de saumons sont ainsi sauvés.

Facing drought, California puts salmon in trucks

In this way, the American country hopes to rescue fish from dry rivers and guide them to the Pacific Ocean.

In the face of chronic drought, especially early this year, California found a way to help its famous Chinese salmon reach the Pacific despite rivers with too little flow or too hot water: transporting the fry overland, in tanker trucks.

California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife”Learns lessons from the past fifteen years of salmon release and previous droughts to increase chances of successJason Julian, president of the Northern State Fish Farming Facilities, recently explained in a press release.

Salmon are migratory: they are born in rivers, swim to the Pacific Ocean when they reach maturity and can spend up to seven years there, but eventually return to their native waters to breed and die. “It has been proven that moving salmon chicks to salmon release sites is one of the best ways to increase their survival during droughts.‘ confirms the expert.

The operation, which began in April and should continue through June, avoids 80 to 150 kilometers of waterways where significant mortality has been observed in the past. In total, approximately 17 million baby salmon will be transported in trucks from four California hatcheries.

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20 million eggs

At the end of May, dozens of them had already swarmed to the top of the ladder, ready to be pushed into the hatchery pond where carbon dioxide would mix with water making it possible to numb the fervor of fish whose size could exceed the 22 largest. kg. They are marked and given a vitamin B1 injection prior to release. In a few months, once the breeding season arrives, eggs will be extracted from the females and artificially mixed with the male’s semen to fertilize them.

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Up to 20 million salmon eggs will then be stored, in trays permanently irrigated with Feather River water, as in their natural habitat, in spawning grounds, until the fry emerge. These young salmon are then kept outdoors, in wire ponds to avoid serving as storage for herons and other predators, until they are large enough to be released into the sea.

Since May 10, California authorities have declared a drought emergency in more than 40 counties. The Butte Dam, where Oroville Dam is located, is already classified inExceptionalThe situation, made worse by the effects of climate change across the western United States, is not expected to improve until rainfall returns in five or six months.

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