King Salmon Surge Into Nimbus Fish Hatchery on American River

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RANCHO CORDOVA – This has been a slow year for salmon fishing on the American River. Very few anglers are still fishing in the section of river open to fishing from the SMUD powerline at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park to the mouth.

In contrast, the staff at Nimbus Fish Hatchery is seeing good numbers of salmon this year.

“This year it took less time when the latter was opened to get enough salmon to spawn than in previous years,” said Gary Novak, Nimbus Fish Hatchery manager. “The last time we spawned, it only took 20 minutes to get 500 fish that we needed for spawning purposes. In previous years, it might take hours for us to get our fish.”

The hatchery this year has taken around 1400 pairs of kings for spawning. They plan to do one more spawn before ending their salmon spawning.

“We’ve taken 7.6 million eggs and plan to take nearly 9 million to meet our production goals,” said Novak. “We’ve seen about 15 steelhead to date, including 7 adults up to 38 inches.”

The Golden State Salmon Association commented on a video from Nimbus Fish Hatchery shared on Facebook: “It seems like there were hundreds of fish stacked up at the bottom of the Nimbus Hatchery fish ladder yesterday on the American River.”

Nimbus Hatchery is open to the public free of charge from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. For more information about spawning schedules and educational opportunities at each hatchery, please visit the CDFW website at