California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Feather River Hatchery fish ladder

Feather River Fish Hatchery Facility

Feather River Hatchery was designed as a compact unit where a large number of adult fish can be held and artificially spawned. With the hatchery's modern facilities, young fish are reared with a minimum of handling and cost.

Major features to guide the fish from the Feather River to the hatchery include the fish barrier dam and fish ladder. Near the barrier dam, viewing windows allow visitors to watch the fish as they leap and swim up the ladder.

Adult salmon and steelhead remain in sorting and holding tanks, while rearing raceways, located behind the spawning building, contain young fish fingerlings and yearlings. Wire coverings to keep birds from feasting on the young fish protect these rearing areas.

Barrier Dam and Fish Ladder

When salmon and steelhead trout reach spawning age, and conditions are right, they naturally want to go upstream to spawn. The barrier dam stretching across the river means the only way upstream is up the fish ladder.

  • Fish ladder length: 2,150 feet.
  • Pool length: 8 to 1,000 feet.
  • Minimum width: 6 feet.
  • Minimum water depth: 2 feet.
  • Velocity of flow in ladder: 10 cubic feet per second.
  • Maximum drop between pools: 1 foot.