Anglers Can Expect Fishing Ban On Sacramento River In Redding

Just as a huge Southern California water utility has voted to foot the massive bill for two giant water tunnels to divert Sacramento River water, fisheries managers have announced deep cuts in ocean fishing of Sacramento River Chinook Salmon. The cuts are the result of a scarcity of Fall Run Sacramento Basin Salmon. In 2014 and 2015 approximately 95% of eggs and young Salmon were lost due to elevated water temperatures. The once-abundant Chinook used to spawn in the upper reaches of the Sacramento River tributaries such as the McCloud and Pit Rivers but those spawning grounds were blocked by Shasta Dam. The population recovered in the 40’s and 50’s as cool water was released in the Summer months but a sharp decline that started around 1970 hit a low of about 200 fish in the early 90’s, when the species was declared endangered. During the recent drought the river reached a temperature of over 56 degrees, which is warm enough to kill Salmon eggs. 98% of the in-river spawning is believed to occur in 5-and-a-half miles of the Sacramento River from Keswick Dam to the Highway 44 Bridge in Redding. Many scientists have warned that the construction of the water tunnels would be a death sentence for the Chinook, and for California’s 1.4 Billion Dollar Salmon fishing industry.


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