It hasn’t happened in 65 years. This threatened species has returned to the San Joaquin River

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An adult spring-run Chinook salmon, netted in April 2019 in the San Joaquin River after maturing in the Pacific Ocean, is released further upstream by a biologist. It’s one of the first adult salmon to return in more than 65 years. By Before the construction of Friant Dam and creation of Millerton Lake in 1942, the San Joaquin River was a historic spawning habitat for spring-run Chinook salmon. But it’s been more than 65 years since adult salmon returned from the Pacific Ocean to the river – until this month, that is. So far in April, five adult Chinook salmon have been discovered in the same area of the San Joaquin River for the first time in decades. Josh Newcom, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s San Joaquin River Restoration Program, said the salmon were all caught in net traps in an area of the river’s lower Eastside Bypass. As part of the ongoing salmon restoration project on the San Joaquin River, biologists set up an emergence trap over a redd – a nest made of gravel where female salmon lay eggs – to catch and study newly hatched Chinook salmon. By “This is monumental for the […]

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