Where: Mokelumne Fish Hatchery
Location: at bottom of Camanche Dam, 25800 N. McIntire Road, Clements, CA
Trip Summary: The fish holding tanks were full of Chinook salmon ready to mate. They were three to five feet long and males were bright red. We saw them smash into the gates in the river outside the fish hatchery and the sides of the tanks. We learned that they would soon die and their eggs and sperm would be extracted by workers and mixed together to start a new generation of salmon. When the hatchlings were old enough, they were put in fish pens and were fed pellets made of ground salmon. When we fed the hatchlings, they all swarmed toward the food and splashed about. The pens had running water in them, and some of them had larger fish than the others. When old enough to survive on their own, they would be put in a tanker truck to carry them to water depleted of salmon to repopulate. After walking around the hatchery, we hiked a few miles downstream to a place near a cove in the river to eat lunch. We saw many salmon swimming upstream and one Great Blue heron in a tree. On the way back, we caught a small frog and named it Jeffrey.