Nimbus Fish Hatchery Salmon Ladder

| November 5, 2012 | 780 Comments

This is the best time of the year to visit the Nimbus Fish Hatchery!

It’s SALMON SEASON and there is so much to see and learn!

Laura Drath, the Fish and Wildlife Interpreter for the Nimbus Fish Hatchery was kind enough to give me the inside scoop on what is happening and the best time to visit…

“We are gearing up for salmon season right now, with loads of fish already in the river and the fish ladder scheduled to open on Monday, November 5th at 8 AM.  We’ll begin bringing salmon into the hatchery for egg-taking the next morning.

After that date, you’ll be able to see fish in the ladder pretty much continuously until the end of February–salmon in November and December, and steelhead trout in January and February.  Though of course, whether you’ll actually see fish jumping in the ladder is entirely up to the fish!

You can watch the spawning, or egg-taking process through windows in the visitor center on select weekday mornings.  There isn’t a set schedule, but I will try to announce spawning days on on our Facebook page as soon as I know what they will be.  We don’t spawn fish on the weekends or on state holidays, but the visitor center is open every day–including Thanksgiving Day.  In fact, Thanksgiving week is a great time to visit as that’s usually the height of the season–with the most fish in the ladder–and with schools on break we don’t have the big school groups all over the place. We’re open 8-3 on weekdays and 9-3 on weekends, year-round.”

Thank you, Laura!

So check out the salmon jumping the ladder, feed the fish in the raceways, and check out the hands-on exhibits in the visitor’s center!

FYI…the hatchery is replacing the nickel machines that dispense fish food with machines that take quarters.  (This is because they couldn’t find parts for the nickel machines, which were constantly breaking.)  So you’ll want to bring quarters with you this fall!  There is still no charge for admission or parking.

Nimbus Fish Hatchery
2001 Nimbus Road
Gold River, CA


Written by Keilah Woodard

Keilah Woodard

Keilah Woodard is the founder of, a mom of three and a Realtor® with Lyon Real Estate. She has a passion for finding adventures with her family! She has been exploring Sacramento and sharing a firsthand perspective with fellow parents since 2009.

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Category: Blog, Fall, Fall Favorites, Free, Outdoor Activities