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Fisheries Branch

Fisheries Branch Programs

Anadromous Conservation and Management

California is home to several anadromous fish species characterized by spending the majority of their lives in estuarine or marine waters and returning to fresh water to spawn. Native anadromous fishes are widely distributed in California and represented by families of jawless lamprey (Petromyzontidae); cartilaginous, bony-plated sturgeons (Acipenseridae); highly migratory salmon and steelhead trout (Salmonidae); and the small, short-lived smelts (Osmeridae). Because of their dietary, commercial, recreational, tribal, ecologic, and cultural significance, every anadromous species has been the focus of various efforts for conservation, protection, management, and recovery.

The Anadromous Conservation and Management Program is a focus of CDFW efforts and, along with NOAA Fisheries, has been developing a statewide plan to initiate standard monitoring of coastal populations of anadromous fish species from San Diego to Del Norte counties, and expanding into the Central Valley. Scientists work closely with partners and constituents to address applied research necessary to implement sound conservation and population recovery measures.

Programs and Staff

Inland Fisheries Conservation and Management

Inland Fisheries Conservation and Management consist of multiple programs responsible for conservation, recovery, and management of inland fish species. These programs and associated staff are responsible for fish species conservation including: developing management plans and recommending and conducting management actions; designing, conducting and overseeing resource assessment, monitoring, and research; coordinating habitat enhancement projects; developing angling regulation recommendations, and overseeing angling recognition projects.

Programs and Staff

Fish Production and Aquatic Pathology

CDFW operates 22 cold water fish hatcheries statewide and is one of the largest producers of trout and salmon in North America. The basic objectives of the CDFW trout and salmon hatcheries are conservation, mitigation, and recreation. The CDFW operates 13 trout and inland salmon hatcheries and 9 anadromous salmon and steelhead hatcheries. These facilities operate in the remote redwood forests of the north to the deserts of the south.

Along with supporting conservation efforts and commercial, tribal, and recreational fishing, CDFW fish hatcheries are fun and educational places to visit with many offering great wildlife viewing and picnic areas as well as educational programs for visitors. The CDFW directory of hatcheries describes the individual hatcheries including fish species, locations, driving directions, history of the hatcheries and much, much more!

Programs and Staff

Aquaculture Program

The CDFW Aquaculture Program oversees California’s diverse aquaculture industry. Through policies and regulations, CDFW and the California Fish and Game Commission balance the protection of natural resources and the development of sustainable aquaculture.

Programs and Staff


school of juvenile Chinook salmon - small silver fish with spots


Fisheries Branch
Branch Chief: Kevin Shaffer
830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 327-8840