History of the Feather River Hatchery

Throughout the years, many attempts have been made to artificially spawn salmon, shad and trout in the Feather River and its drainages. Prior to construction of the Oroville Dam, most of these historic fish hatcheries were located on the Eastern side of the mountain range, approx. 100 miles northeast of the current site of Feather River Hatchery.

Yuba River Shad Hatchery 1916

This hatchery was built on the Feather River, near Yuba City, to address concerns with the overfishing of shad in the lower Sacramento River. Unfortunately the first run of Shad did not produce enough eggs to supply them and due to a light run in the river, the hatchery closed after only being in operation for one season.

Domingo Springs 1916 - 1937

Built in 1916, Domingo Springs was built to supply fish to the lakes and streams in Lassen National Park and the surrounding area. In 1937 the hatchery was damaged due to floods. Because the cold water of the hatchery caused slow growth of eggs and fish, the damage was never repaired and the station was abandoned.

The equipment was packed up again and moved to Haskell Creek in Plumas County near Clio. Here the water and weather was found to be favorable and in 1924 the first permanent building was erected.

Feather River Hatchery 1924 - 1953

Built in 1924, a 60 trough hatchery building and employee cabins were built. Situated four miles from Clio in Plumas County, on the Western Pacific Railroad, the hatchery operated for nearly 30 years. In 1953 the hatchery work was abandoned, considered outdated. From here, there is a 14 year gap in hatchery work on the Feather River.

Feather River Fish Hatchery 1967 - present

In 1961 the Department of Water Resources began to build the Oroville Dam. This massive rock fill project altered the flow of the Feather River, and to compensate the DWR worked with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to build a hatchery. Average runs of 51,000 fish a year return to this hatchery.

horses packing fish up through mountains; alpine meadow
man peering at snow bank
view of fish ladder and viewing platform next to weir on river
Present day fish ladder

Feather River Hatchery main page

Fisheries Branch
830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811 | (916) 327-8840