FOX40 Investigates: What’s that Stench in the American River?

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We took our bikes down the American River Bike Trail in Rancho Cordova to find out why the river has such a foul smell.

We quickly spotted at least 50 dead salmon. This happens every year, it’s part of the life cycle of a salmon. But a quick call to Nimbus Fish Hatchery confirmed for the first time in years, more than 30,000 salmon are expected to die in the American River (this season).

That number is up 90 percent since last year. Believe it or not, more dead salmon is a good thing. The hatchery told FOX40 that it’s part of a healthy ecosystem.

A few hundred feet away from dozens of dead salmon, we found hundreds of orange salmon eggs. Each female salmon swims upstream to lay 5,000 to 6,000 of these, then they die and in about 50 days, the eggs will be new salmon. And so the process starts again.

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