Thanks to the help from our generous and capable volunteers:
This season’s steelhead planting went beautifully with 4,740 healthy smolts planted in Scotts Creek watershed, and 32,113 planted in the San Lorenzo River. Plantings took place at various locations over several weeks.
Coho planting is being done according to a multi-year study by NOAA Fisheries scientists of the Salmon Ecology Group at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Over 9,000 will have been released into Scotts Creek Watershed by mid-May.
Chinook tagging, marking, and vaccination took place at Mokelumne hatchery with 240,000 chinook now prepped for delivery in May.
The Hatchery has the fry rearing troughs filling up and a volunteer training coming up on May 31st! Major improvements to the facility are coming. It has become very clear that the hatchery must install systems for recirculating and cleaning water during drought conditions as well as systems to remove sediment and sterilize the water coming in. Since the Lockheed Fire burned 7,000 acres of the watershed in 2009 the hatchery has been having increasing problems with Saprolegnia fungal infections during the wet season. The cause of this increase is not clearly understood, but it has reach an unacceptable level. Many hatcheries and aquaculture operations have systems to suppress Saprolegnia. Treating the water with U/V light sterilizes the fungal spoors and will minimize the rate of infection. A professional aquaculture engineer will be designing the system for MBSTP thanks to grant funding provided by NOAA Fisheries. If we can get sufficient funding from our donors and grants this year, the system will be installed before next season.