Our network

The salmon are running in San Joaquin USA! | Sports & Recreation

Title (Max 100 Characters)

The salmon are running in San Joaquin USA!

Another near-record salmon run is expected on the Stanislaus River this fall, while farther north, thousands of fish are already splashing their way up the Mokelumne River past Lodi.

So if you've never seen a mighty Chinook, this might be the year to get out there and find one.

The first opportunity comes Saturday at the Stanislaus River Salmon Festival at Knights Ferry, off Highway 120 east of Oakdale. From the festival on the banks of the river, you should be able to walk onto the Sonora Road bridge and peer down at the fish spawning in the gravel streambed.

As of Thursday, 2,680 salmon had passed a downstream weir near Riverbank, putting the Stanislaus only slightly behind last year's record-breaking pace.

To the north, about 1,250 salmon have passed the Woodbridge Dam on the Mokelumne, said Jose Setka, supervising fisheries biologist for the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

The Mokelumne saw a record-breaking run of more than 18,500 fish two years ago, and another strong run last year of more than 12,000 fish.

"Things are looking good, but it's still a little early in the year to make any sort of predictions on the Mokelumne specifically," Setka said.

East Bay MUD released extra water down the river this week, hoping the fish would take the cue and head upstream.