An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 salmon were killed Wednesday morning at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Thermalito due to a pump failure, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The incident occurred due to a faulty wire wire.
"The primary pump supplying well water to the facility failed, drastically reducing the water supply to the hatchery raceways," The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a press release. "California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff first observed stressed fall-run Chinook salmon at 6:30 a.m. along with mortalities in the raceways due to low dissolved oxygen levels. Hatchery staff immediately started supplying supplemental oxygen to the raceways to keep fish alive. CDFW notified the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), which manages the wells, and DWR electricians made immediate repairs to restart the pump motor and resume the flow of water."
More than two million salmon remaining at the facility will be released over the course of the next month as they reach an appropriate size, officials said.