A Ladder For Fishes - A California Thing

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

On Sunday when I blogged about my eleven mile bike ride up to Historic Folsom, there was another spot along the American River Parkway that many Greater Sacramento locals find of interest this time of year.  It is the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, near Hazel Avenue and Highway 50. 


The hatchery becomes brisk with activity each year, near the first of November.  The Salmon, native to the American River, are returning home from the ocean, to spawn. 

When Nimbus Dam was built generations ago, it impaired the Salmon journey.  So a “California” solution was found to the problem.  A fish rack, or weir was constructed, and a fish ladder with over 20 steps was built, to aid the fish in their destiny of reproduction, and then, ultimately death.  The rack assists in guiding fish to the ladder entrance.  The ladder guides the fish up more than 20 steps and into a holding pond at the hatchery facility. 

The nature of Pacific Salmon is to return to their original rivers during the annual spawn, and ultimately die there soon after the process.  Knowing this, helps one to understand the work performed at the hatchery.

During this trip I did not enter any of the buildings, where fish are sorted on tables, spawned or killed, stripped of eggs and fertilized.  I’m a gal that likes her fish and meat already Safeway wrapped.  I don’t need to witness all the gory details

Outdoor ponds nurture young fish born of the hatchery process.  In the future, they will be released into the Sacramento River system.

Nimbus Fish Hatchery is located at: 2001 Nimbus Road, Suite F,
Gold River, CA 95670

They have an informative website accessible via: Nimbus Fish Hatchery

Fish Ladder at Nimbus by Myrl Jeffcoat
Fish Ladder at Nimbus Fish Hatchery - Rancho Cordova, California

Nimbus Fish Hatchery by Myrl Jeffcoat
View encompasses the ladder, the weir, the river between the hatchery and Nimbus Dam seen in the far distance.

Nimbus Fish Hatchery by Myrl Jeffcoat
The weir is put in place each year beginning approximately in September.

Nimbus Fish Hatchery by Myrl Jeffcoat
The area of the river between the hatchery and Nimbus Dam is lined with fishermen, hoping to catch fish that have escaped the weir and ladder into the hatchery.

Nimbus Fish Hatchery by Myrl Jeffcoat
These fish are contained in the hatchery holding pond, after climbing the ladder.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Myrl. Your photos are terrific and this is such a bizarre story. I agree I like my fish cooked and pretty.

Nov 12, 2012 08:36 PM #7
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

INteresting photos an dinformation. I have seen them before on various nature shows, so wasn't completely suprised.

Nov 12, 2012 10:29 PM #8
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Myrl, That is some interesting stuff!  I think that they do the ladders here at some of our fish hatcheries, but I am not sure.  Have a great day!

Nov 13, 2012 04:34 AM #9
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


           I love these photos and I am so glad they were featured they deserve it! It sounds like you had a great Sunday!

Nov 13, 2012 07:18 AM #10
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Silvia - It is an amazing sight to watch those fish actually navigate their way when they reach that area of the river.

Sheila - And with a few slices of lemon on the side:-)

Than - It's interesting to me that the method actually works.

Tony and Darcy - Apparently, these ladders (based on John's #3 comment) are not only a California thing.  So, it is entirely possible you might have them too.  I've been to other hatcheries, but this is the first one I've been to with a ladder.

Yolanda - It was a nice weekend.  The weather in Sacramento was gorgeous!

Nov 13, 2012 07:45 AM #11
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning
Hi Myrl, Great photos and well deserving of a feature by this group. I was in Ketichan Alaska and went to a remote island which was a state hatchery for salmon and the bears hang around daily and the state gives expensive tours. I think it is so fasinating that the salmon will travel hundreds of miles in their lifetime and come back to the area they hatched from before dying. It amazes me how they would know? You are really having a good time on your new bike! Such a good sport and healthy too.
Nov 13, 2012 08:24 AM #12
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Myrl,  the fish ladders in CA are so much larger than the ones we have along Lake Erie. Great pictures.  Thanks for sharing them and yourblue sky & sunshine.


Nov 14, 2012 12:07 AM #13
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Great pictures!  Not at all what I would have imagined.... I think I'm going to have to put seeing the Salmon on their upriver journey on my bucket list...

Nov 14, 2012 04:49 AM #14
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


        I forgot to add to my comments; I too am a HEB ( our local grocery store) kind of gal myself!

Nov 14, 2012 06:07 AM #15
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your photographs.  Many of us would love to visit the fish hatchery.  Doing a little fishing would also be a lot of fun.

I hope you are having an outstanding week.  Be sure to have your camera in hand to capture the special moments.

Chrysanthemum Show, Brookside Gardens in Maryland

Nov 14, 2012 07:24 AM #16
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Great pictures Myrl.  I once visited a hatchery years and years ago.  I wish now that I had a camera with me at the time - it was so interesting.

Nov 15, 2012 04:06 AM #17
Kerrie La Guardia
ActiveRain, Community Manager - Kirkland, WA
Let it Rain!

Your jumping fish picture literally had me saying "whoa" out loud.  Very cool Myrl!

Nov 15, 2012 05:14 AM #18
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Hi Myrl, thanks for sharing, your post reminds me of my wonderful family vacation in Vancouver many years ago.

Nov 15, 2012 11:09 AM #19
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

You do the best photographic tours of your beautiful area Meryl. What a delight to be introduced to all the wonderful things to see and do in Sacramento through your eyes and lens.

Nov 15, 2012 09:24 PM #20
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

HI Myrl - this is such a great post and love the photos. (especially the fish jumping). Thanks for the great lesson here, appreciate the information.

Nov 16, 2012 08:56 AM #21
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Myrl, I had heard of these "ladders", but really didn't know that much about them.  Thank you for sharing - I really learned a lot here.  

Nov 16, 2012 11:31 AM #22
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


Keep pedaling! You're writing adventures are truly inspirational and fun to read!

Nov 18, 2012 01:22 AM #23
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

wow, this is so cool and something I have never seen! Great post and I am going to reblog.

Nov 19, 2012 04:49 AM #24
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Myrl you are always introducing new things to us; I never heard of the ladders for fish. 

Enjoyed your amazing photographs.

Nov 19, 2012 03:38 PM #25
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Myrl, interesting story...I don't think I've every heard of the "fish ladder"...enjoyed the photos.

Nov 20, 2012 07:25 AM #26
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Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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