Due to California’s drought, wildlife officials are concerned that the rivers in the state may be too shallow to allow for the young salmon raised in hatcheries to make their trek to the ocean. As a result, officials are considering a plan which would move the millions of young salmon to the ocean with the help of tanker trucks.
Unless the state gets sufficient rains to raise the level of rivers this spring, the waters will be too shallow and warm, making the salmon too easy to catch by predators. This would see a major drop in salmon fishing starting in 2016 when this year’s salmon first reach maturity.
Concerns have been raised over whether or not salmon transported by truck will be able to find their way back to their breeding grounds, as well as whether or not they will be too disoriented to survive once they reach the sea.
Officials are monitoring rain levels, but say that they will be ready to implement the plan to transport the salmon as early as next month. Salmon which normally swim from their hatcheries off of the Sacramento, Feather, American, and Mokelumne Rivers would have to be hauled to the sea, meaning millions upon millions of pounds of freight for tanker drivers who don’t mind hauling some live passengers for a change.