Climate-Induced Fish Hatchery Upgrades

Inspection/condition assessment, Alternatives analysis/feasibility study, Conceptual design, Engineering services, Final design, Environmental/permitting
Professional services
Various locations in CA
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
why it matters

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has entrusted McMillen with a critical and impactful mission: to spearhead the development of a comprehensive assessment of existing hatcheries. This project aims to establish long-term climate resilience for the state's hatchery systems, ensuring the uninterrupted production of hatchery resources for future generations. In the face of climate change's formidable challenges, including the alarming depletion of cold-water supplies, CDFW has encountered significant obstacles. These range from the cancellation of fish releases and the urgent evacuation of hatcheries all due to the adverse effects of elevated temperatures and insufficient flow. The pressing need for major infrastructure improvements in numerous hatchery facilities underscores the project's importance, as it seeks to safeguard production capabilities and effectively mitigate the far-reaching impacts of climate change.

No items found.

McMillen has conducted on-site assessments of 21 fish hatcheries in response to the state's climate resiliency efforts. Our team will identify hatchery deficiencies and necessary upgrades and develop a comprehensive plan that prioritizes the needs of each hatchery based on climate change projections and required upgrades. To address these issues, we will integrate the projections within the fisheries, geotechnical, civil, hydraulic, mechanical, structural, electrical, and control design elements, ensuring the efficient and effective achievement of CDFW's goal of maintaining hatchery productivity.

The assessment process will involve a thorough evaluation of each hatchery, considering factors such as current production levels, infrastructure deficiencies, and operational practices. McMillen will conduct a bioprogramming review to assess the effectiveness of the hatchery programs and suggest modifications that can enhance their response to climate change and maintain or increase overall production at the hatchery. The evaluation report for each hatchery will provide detailed recommendations for improvements. 

Following the hatchery evaluations, CDFW will advance as many facilities as possible within funding and schedule requirements to the design phase. This will involve incorporating the recommended upgrades into the hatchery infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The focus of these improvements will be on addressing drought concerns and improving infrastructure while ensuring that the production goals for various trout species, Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead, are maintained. Water conservation will be a key consideration throughout the design process. 

The comprehensive plan developed by McMillen will provide a roadmap for prioritizing and implementing necessary improvements, ensuring the hatcheries can continue to support the state's sport fisheries and conservation efforts.


Related projects.