Story at a glance:

  • Sacramento, Calif.’s salmon population could be wiped out due to the heat wave.
  • The fish were transported using a high-powered suction machine onto a truck that will ensure the highest level of survival.
  • Salmon were relocated from the Sacramento River to San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay and other fish farms.

The heat wave taking place in California could wipe out the salmon population in the Sacramento River.

The water is reportedly too warm for salmon and their eggs and it could drive them into extinction, CNN reported.


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California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has been relocating salmon from the Sacramento River to San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay and other fish farms.

About 1.1 million baby salmon were relocated out of the Klamath River on Tuesday.

The fish were transported using a high-powered suction machine onto a truck that will “ensure the highest level of survival for the young salmon on their hazardous journey” to the Pacific Ocean, California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson JordanTraverso said, The New York Times reported.

The drought and heat evaporates the water, which has also caused more salmon to die due to the salmon needing to be in water below 56°F in order to breathe underwater. 

"It's an extreme set of cascading climate events pushing us into this crisis situation," Traverso told reporters.

“Extreme heat and near-record lack of precipitation are putting unprecedented stress on ecosystems and species, including our iconic Chinook salmon,” Lisa Lien-Mager, a spokeswoman for the California Natural Resources Agency, said. “The challenges are great, but a complete die-off of in-river juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon is not a certainty this year and we are working hard to mitigate that risk.”

When asked if young or infant salmon can survive in the ocean, the project leader of the Coleman National Fish Hatchery told CBS Sacramento it is possible if the salmon can swim or hatch into cold enough water and avoid predators. 

However, if salmon eggs are trapped under gravel, they will endure the uncomfortable warm water until they die.


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Published on Jul 16, 2021