Saving stranded fish is a shocking job

With water at the Oroville dam spillway being shut off, it caused the river to significantly drop. Crews are rushing to save thousands of fish trapped by the receding waters. (Mar. 1, 2016)

The Oroville dam spillway closed after weeks of flooding, but now there is a new problem on the Feather River.

Wildlife officials are racing to save thousands of fish trapped by receding water.

“When the water went down fish became stranded in water puddles on the bank. We are talking tiny fish.” said Andrew Hewen.

Fifteen boats and 60 people with the Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Water Resource took to the water this morning. The goal is to move fish stranded in these mud pools and move them back into the Feather River.

Finding baby fish in murky mud puddles is difficult and workers have been using fish stun guns to bring the fish to the surface. The low volts of electricity temporarily paralyze the fish giving ground crews enough time to scoop them up with nets.

"The reality is every fish would die if we weren’t doing this.” said Hewen.

In deeper puddles, teams have to fetch the fish the old fashion way by walking the banks with big nets and pulling fish out by hand.

Wildlife crews have pulled more than a thousand fish out of these mud puddles in the past two days.

“Any one of those salmon could be someone dinner in 3 year or first fish that they caught ever.” said Hewen.

Receding flood waters trapped the babies, but thanks to these ground crews, fishermen can enjoy them for years to come.

Copyright 2017 KXTV


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