Nearly 400,000 Chinook salmon die in hatchery blunder

Published on
April 2, 2019

Nearly 400,000 fall Chinook salmon died due to a mistake at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson, California, U.S.A., last week, according to a source at the hatchery. 

Water to one of the raceways was accidentally turned off overnight and the mistake was not discovered until the morning. The salmon were less than half-a-year old and died due to a lack of oxygen, according to hatchery project leader Brett Galyean, speaking to KRCR News.

Although 3 percent of the hatchery’s annual production died during the event, which will be investigated this week, it is still on track to meet targets of raising 12 million fish. Around 4.9 million fish have already been released this season. 

Galyean said that the hatchery has changed its operating procedures so that a similar event does not happen again in the future. 

Image courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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