California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Feather River Fish Hatchery History

Since construction of Oroville Dam by the Department of Water Resources altered the Feather River, some spawning and nursery grounds were lost to salmon and steelhead returning to their home stream to deposit eggs. To compensate for this loss, the Feather River Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery was opened in 1967.

The facility - one of the most advanced and successful fish hatcheries in California to date - was cooperatively planned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Water Resources, with the advice of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies. In a ten-year period (from 1981 to 1991), the return of spawning adult salmon increased from an average of 39,000 to an average of 51,000 per year. (The run now includes in-river and hatchery spawners.)