Nimbus Fish Hatchery

At the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, you can view adult Salmon jumping up a fish ladder and baby salmon swimming in “ponds.” A great time to visit the hatchery is October-November when the adult salmon swim to the hatchery to spawn. Visiting is free, minus 25 cents for fish food if you’d like to feed the fish. The outdoor facility is also known for being dog-friendly. For more information, visit the Nimbus Fish Hatchery website.

Salmon Swimming Upstream
Creative Commons License photo credit: GregTheBusker

The Nimbus Fish Hatchery was created in response to the building of the Natomas and Folsom Dams in the 1950s that prevented Salmon from being able to swim up the river to lay their eggs and reproduce.

The end of the line for salmon. The Hazel Boulevard crossing bridge and part of the American River Bike Trail are in the background.
The end of the line for salmon. The Hazel Boulevard crossing bridge and part of the American River Bike Trail are in the background.

The Salmon now swim up a fish ladder to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.

The adult fish can be seen jumping up the fish ladder.

Adult salmon.
Adult salmon.

Some fish don’t swim up the fish ladder and go to a couple areas along the American River instead.

You can see very large Salmon up close along the American River in November.
You can see very large Salmon up close along the American River in November.

Inside the hatchery, you can see tons of baby Salmon and feed them.

Baby Salmon.
Baby Salmon.

The Nimbus Hatchery has fun ways for kids to learn about the Salmon.

Learn about the Salmon inside the hatchery.
Learn about the Salmon inside the hatchery.

Remember that everything is free. Parking may be a little tricky, though, because people park their cars here and then head out to the American River Bike Trail.