On July 11, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service celebrated the return of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon eggs to the McCloud River upstream of Shasta Reservoir for the first time since the construction of the Shasta Dam in the 1940s.
Approximately 20,000 fertilized winter-run Chinook salmon eggs were collected from USFWS’ Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery near Redding and driven to the Ah-Di-Na Campground within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest on the banks of the McCloud River. The eggs were placed into specialized incubators alongside the McCloud River’s cold waters, where the species once spawned. Another 20,000 eggs will be transferred to the incubators in the McCloud River in early August. Then, both cohorts will be released into the river as fry.
The return of winter-run Chinook salmon eggs to the McCloud River was accompanied by a tribal celebration by the Winnemem Wintu, which has supported the return of salmon to their ancestral homeland. CDFW staff and tribal representatives will remain alongside the incubators and monitor the eggs and the young salmon as they develop and disperse into the river over the next few months.