The annual fall migration of Chinook salmon has been delayed by warmer water temperatures and slow-flowing streams in parts of California as the state's three-year drought drags on, hatchery officials said Monday.
Cool November temperatures usually bring thousands of adult salmon from the Pacific Ocean into streams and rivers to spawn. But this year, fish have been slow to migrate up the American River to the state's hatchery near Sacramento, said William Cox, manager of the fish production and distribution program at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"They haven't come into the river at the same time that they would normally," Cox said.
Wildlife researchers check the strength of the fall salmon run by going out to creeks and rivers and counting them. This year in the American River and its tributaries, the survey crews found just 210 corpses of salmon that had presumably spawned and died in the streams, a tenth of the number normally encountered, Cox said.
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