SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — At the American River Hatchery near Sacramento, water chillers are being installed at the cost of nearly $1 million with the goal of making sure that the water stays cool enough for salmon that are hatched and raised there.

The money for these giant water chillers comes from state drought emergency funds.

“What it does is, it allows us to cool down the incoming water so that eggs or fish that are being raised and incubated are at a temperature that is better for their survival,” William Cox, who is the program manager for fish production with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said.

It’s predicted water temperatures through October and November will be in the low 60’s and at the American River Hatchery, they are attempting to bring those temperatures down to 56 or 57 degrees to incubate the fall run of Chinook salmon.

It’s something that’s never had to be done before; typically they pull cooler water from Folsom Lake.

“The water at the bottom of the late is always coldest and with the lake level being so low, the amount of cold water there is not sufficient and also it is already too warm,” Cox said.

One other chiller is being installed in California at the hatchery in charge of restoring the spring run Chinook to the San Joaquin River.

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