As the natural cycle of life unfolds, Chinook salmon are making their triumphant return to the Feather River. Commencing on September 15, water began to flow down the fish ladder. And on September 18, the Feather River Fish Hatchery kicked off its vital spawning activities.
For those eager to witness this incredible spectacle, a visit to the Hatchery’s fish barrier dam overlook viewing area is a must. Here, visitors can observe salmon gathering and leaping in the Feather River. An underwater viewing window offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures as they ascend the fish ladder. Located off Table Mountain Boulevard, opposite the Hatchery, this overlook promises unforgettable views. The fish ladder is anticipated to remain accessible for viewing until early to mid-July 2024.
You can also see the action at the Oroville Salmon Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. DWR Guides will be giving free tours of the Hatchery, where DWR and DFW raise Chinook salmon and steelhead to improve fisheries populations throughout the state.
The Feather River Fish Hatchery plays a pivotal role in sustaining the Chinook salmon population. Through its dedicated spawning operations, millions of these salmon are released into the Feather River, San Pablo Bay, and San Francisco Bay each spring. This concerted effort contributes significantly to the support of fisheries in Northern California and the Pacific Ocean.