The Program raises adult spring-run Chinook salmon at the Interim Salmon Conservation and Research Facility (ISACRF) in order to develop a San Joaquin River-specific population of fish. Adults are raised from eggs at the ISCARF where their eggs (female) and milt (male) are collected at adulthood and used to artificially spawn the next broodyear of salmon.
A number of ancillary broodstock, those determined not needed for spawning operations, are released to the river annually. To increase data about spawning habitats and behaviors, acoustic telemetry tags are implanted in the released hatchery adult broodstock (as well as naturally returning spring-run adults) to track their movements within the river. In 2022, for the first time, Program staff released broodstock adults at Freemont Ford – the southernmost release point for adult broodstock to date for the Program – in order to test the furthest extent of their spawning range. Below is a video of a Program field staff releasing a broodstock adult spring-run Chinook salmon to the San Joaquin River below Skaggs Bridge in Fresno County.