The Fish Sniffer - Steelhead Are Big This Year
Steelhead Are Big This Year

Written By: Dan Bacher, December 19, 2013
Species: Trout Steelhead
Location: Feather River- Lower,

The staff at the Feather River Fish Hatchery has returned over 400 steelhead to the river so far this season.

The fish include a good number in the 6 to 8 pound range, in contrast with the 3 to 4 pounders that are most common on the Central Valley river, reported Anna Kastener, Feather River Fish Hatchery Manager. The hatchery has not started spawning steelhead yet, but will do so later this month.

The facility has finished spawning salmon for the season. They trapped 24,893 fall run Chinook adults and 2,387 jacks this season, compared to 33,682 adults and 8,533 jacks last year. Last season was a record year for fall salmon at the hatchery.

Low releases of 1,250 cfs on the river below the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet have kept most motorboats off the river, but a few anglers are fishing from shore or drift boats.

“Shore fishermen are hooking steelies in the 2 to 4 pound range in the Gridley and Oroville areas while drifting Glo Bugs and nightcrawlers,” said Bob Boucke of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle in Yuba City.


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