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California trucks salmon to Pacific; low river levels blamed

The effort is aimed at ensuring the highest level of survival for the young salmon on their hazardous journey to the ocean.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 24, 2014, file photo, young salmon that have been transported by tanker truck from the Coleman National Fish hatchery are loaded into a floating net suspended on a pontoon barge at Mare Island, Calif. California officials will again truck millions of young salmon raised at fish hatcheries in the state's Central Valley agricultural region to the Pacific Ocean because projected river conditions show that the waterways the fish use to travel downstream will be historically low and warm due to increasing drought. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SAN PABLO, Calif. — California officials will again truck millions of young salmon raised at fish hatcheries in the state's Central Valley to the Pacific Ocean. 

The say projected river conditions show the waterways the fish use to travel downstream will be historically low and warm due to increasing drought. State officials announced the massive trucking operation Wednesday. The hatchery-raised juvenile Central Valley fall-run chinook salmon are being delivered to San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay and seaside net pens.

They say the effort is aimed at ensuring the highest level of survival for the young salmon on their hazardous journey to the ocean.

“Trucking young salmon to downstream release sites has proven to be one of the  best ways to increase survival to the ocean during dry conditions," Jason Julienne, North Central Region Hatchery Supervisor, said in a statement.

The state began transporting fish to coastal sites last week. Federal officials plan to join them starting Monday. This year's operation is expected to transport 20% more salmon than in typical water years. 

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