SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — State officials announced some fish hatcheries in California are being evacuated due to the drought.
Water temperatures at the American River hatchery were approaching dangerous levels for the rainbow trout, putting their lives in danger. So, for the second year in a row, they will have to be evacuated.
“We’re going to move about 330,000 steelhead and probably 500,000 trout,” said Jay Rowan.
But a smaller number will be able to stay, thanks to a high-tech indoor facility built with $700,000 in emergency drought funds. It uses purified water chilled by large cooling units.
“These fish will stay in this building for the next eight to nine months where they’ll grow out and then they will be taken out and planted on the east side of the Sierra,” Rowan said.
The hatchery problems will create some short-term benefits for the recreational fishing industry already hit hard by four years of drought.
“We’re going to be putting out a lot more fish than we normally would this time of year,” he said.
But it won’t last for long.
“Anglers are going to have to understand that the fishing will be good right now but it may come at a cost later this season,” he said.
The state is also dealing with a drought-related fish disease in two northstate hatcheries where up to 3 million golden and brown trout may have to be killed to stop the outbreak.