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Salmon shortage in Sacramento River due to heat

Winter-run Chinook salmon are endangered due to the intense California heat.

CALIFORNIA, USA — The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) have been monitoring the winter-run Chinook salmon population because of area heating trends.

Because Chinook salmon tend to live in the colder upper reaches of the Pacific Ocean and breed in freshwater rivers and streams like The Sacramento River, Chinook salmon have become endangered due to the intense California heat.

In a statement by CDFW, one risk is the possibility of a near-complete loss of in-river juveniles based on potential water and weather predictions. The mortality rate of chinook salmon during egg incubation could be higher than originally predicted due to an extreme set of cascading climate events.

Scott Hambelton, with Nor Cal Guides and Sportsmans Association, added that some factors were hatcheries not producing enough salmon and rivers getting hotter amid the drought.

"The salmon cannot come up this river when it's 75 or 80 degrees and live. And if they do make it, when they lay their eggs, they are going to die," he said.

The CDFW stated they have already taken the proactive measure of trucking millions of hatchery-raised juvenile Central Valley fall-run Chinook salmon this spring to San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay, and seaside net pens due to projected poor river conditions in the Central Valley.  

The Question

Is the salmon shortage we are seeing right now because of the heat? 


  • Scott Hambelton with Nor Cal Guides and Sportsmans Association 
  • The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) 
  • National Marine Fisheries Service


We can verify that the salmon shortage is because of the heat. 


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