It is a very exciting topic that our program' s director, Katha Danz, has chosen for today’s lecture – the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and the American River. When we lived in Gold River, around November, we would take visitors from the east coast or other places to see the spawning of the salmon on the American River. Visitors were amazed to see thousands and thousands of large salmon filling up the river right before the Nimbus Dam – I called it one of the seven “natural wonders” of the world.
Katha introduced Jason Fareira, who has communicated with the public about the Nimbus Hatchery for the last 10 years. Jason said that his first career was in the military, and he was from New Jersey but after marrying his wife from the west coast, they decided to compromise on where to make their home and so came to Sacramento. Jason was smitten with the American River trails and vowed that one day he would find a job outside, near the river. Voila, he got his present job, is outside every day and loves his work. He said the mission of the American River Parkway is to enhance it’s natural beauty and properly maintain it.
Historically, the salmon came up the American River and spawned way up in the Sierras in the little rivers and streams . But in the 1955, Nimbus Dam was finished and ready for power and to control flooding. This stopped the salmon's access past the dam reducing their habitat. 
(above left) In November, around Thanksgiving, the salmon come up the river by the thousands, ready to spawn. The Nimbus Hatchery collects the eggs and sperm from the salmon and hatches them. When they are fingerlings they are released back into the river to make their way to the ocean. (above right) shows the proposed improvements around the dam, which are now finally near completion, a nine year project.
(above left) showing the rocks used in the filling and dredging of tailings areas in and around the river. Most of the tailings were brought from the Yuba River. (above right) showing new windows that will reveal the salmon, underwater, as they swim up the fish ladder to the hatchery.
(left) dredging on the river - salmon need only about 11 inches of water to spawn. (right) the newly revised American River Discovery Park Trail which is a nice and comfortable scenic trail near the hatchery. The hatchery has been closed but will reopen with all the new improvements on June 15th. A full restoration of the ecosystem was paramount in the goals of the project - to make wild life (not just fish) friendly for their sake and provide interesting views for the public. Many educational tours are given to school students throughout the year.
(left) Jason with some of his team and (right) the beautiful American River at Sunset. Jason invited all of us to come visit the Hatchery, especially in November, President David thanked Jason for his very interesting presentation and announced that, in honor of his presentation, a book will be donated to the Carmichael Library (subsidiary of the Sacramento Public Library) The Nimbus Fish Hatchery is located at 2001 Nimbus Rd., Gold River, CA 95670, Tel: (916) 358-2884,