OSPR Labs Special Projects: Hatchery Monitoring Program

There are 24 CDFW fish hatcheries located within the jurisdiction of the North Coast, San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, Los Angeles, and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs). As Cold Water Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production facilities, 20 of these hatcheries are required to be permitted under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Each RWQCB is guided by one or more basin plans which identify designated beneficial uses of the surface water bodies and groundwater basins, develop water quality objectives to protect beneficial uses, and create implementation plans and policies for water quality protection. The basin plans contain specific numeric surface water quality objectives for bacteria, dissolved oxygen, pH, pesticides, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, temperature, turbidity, and trace elements, as well as numerous narrative water quality objectives that are applicable to specific water bodies or portions of water bodies.

To ensure that water quality objectives meet these basin plan and NPDES permit requirements, each hatchery collects water samples and submits them to laboratories certified by the California Department of Public Health to perform analyses specified in 40 CFR Part 136. OSPR’s Water Pollution Control Laboratory (WPCL) is certified by the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program Branch as an Environmental Testing Laboratory and therefore provides these services to the hatcheries. The WPCL also supplies the hatcheries with consulting, water sampling training, and instrument verification expertise.

Water quality sampling at Thermalito Fish Hatchery
staff presentation
Water quality sampling of Thermalito Fish Hatchery effluent.

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