"Millions of young rainbow and steelhead trout are being evacuated from California's most productive hatchery complex as summer heat and the state's ongoing drought combine to make the water too warm for them to survive, officials said Tuesday.
Workers clad in overalls used nets to scoop up thousands of foot-long steelhead and load them onto trucks on Tuesday, part of a weeks-long effort to move the fish to cooler lakes and streams where they will have a better chance of surviving, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
'The water is expected to reach lethal temperatures for these fish,' said William Cox, hatchery program manager for the state. 'We've engaged in an evacuation plan so these fish don't just sit here in the hatchery and die.'
California is in the third year of a catastrophic drought that has depleted the Sierra Nevada snowpack that normally feeds the state's rivers and streams with cool water."