Sacramento History Online
Historic Sacramento Photograph and Document Archive
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U. S. Salmon Hatchery, near Sacramento, Cal
Milwaukee, Wisc. : E. C. Kropp Publishing
Commercial salmon fishing predated the Gold Rush, but the thousands of hungry 49ers created a sudden market that was difficult to satisfy. Nets made from shoe thread reputedly yielded over 337,000 pounds of salmon from local waters in 1852. Over 20 canneries were built along the Sacramento River between 1864 and 1886. Hydraulic mining, natural predators, and over-fishing with fine nets eventually closed the canneries down. A worried California began importing new types of fish (like the striped bass in 1879) and established hatcheries like the one shown to promote salmon cultivation and insure spawning grounds for generations to come. The fish hatchery at Nimbus, east of Sacramento off Highway 50, draws thousands of visitors yearly and holds a festival to celebrate the salmons' long journey to their spawning grounds.
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