Currently, California has 12 anadromous fish hatcheries. The NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center operates one, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates two, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife operates the other nine hatcheries. Collectively, these hatcheries produce:
- Fall, late-fall, spring, and winter-run Chinook salmon,
- Coho salmon, and
Most of these hatcheries provide mitigation for construction of hydroelectric dams that block access to spawning and rearing habitat. These hatcheries are typically funded by the mitigating agency. Some produce fish for enhancement purposes to increase harvest opportunities for recreational and commercial fisheries.
A few California hatcheries work to conserve and recover salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act, using methods such as captive propagation and production of fish that may be used for planned reintroduction efforts.