Salmon Hatchery Fuel San Joaquin Tributary

Merced Falls manages a hatchery for chinook salmon.It's a concrete jungle if you are young, a chinook salmon and your parents dumped you just outside of Merced Falls.


The San Joaquin River

The San Joaquin stands as California's second longest river and one of the primary sources of flow to the San Francisco Bay-Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast. From its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada mountains, southeast of Yosemite National Park, the San Joaquin travels some 350 miles, first flowing west past the Central Valley cities of Fresno and Mendota, then turning north past Stockton to its confluence with the Sacramento to form the Bay-Delta. Along its journey, it picks up flows from three major tributaries, Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers.

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Chinook Salmon Runs on the Lower San Joaquin River

The former spring salmon run of the San Joaquin River has been described as "one of the largest chinook salmon runs anywhere on the Pacific Coast" and numbering "possibly in the range of 200,000 to 500,000 spawners annually" (California Department of Fish & Game, 1990).

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