Education and Outreach
Information & Education Office
61552 State Road 14
Underwood, WA 98651
Gorge Information and Education Office offers a year-round public
outreach and education program. Our goals are to provide outreach
activities that are informative and relevant to our local and visiting
public, promote involvement and improve stewardship of our natural
resources. We strive to promote awareness of our
National Fish Hatcheries and the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
goals are met through a variety of on-site and off-site activities
Call (509) 493-2934 or E-mail the
Columbia Gorge Information and Education (I&E) Office. Housed
at the Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery, I&E staff provide outreach services and educational
support for the nearby Little White Salmon, Willard, Spring Creek and Carson
National Fish Hatcheries, and the Lower Columbia River Fish Health
Information and Education staff are available to give tours of the facilities.
Hatchery tours are given anytime during the year; however, fall scheduled field
trips are generally more eventful. Spawning is taking place, there are adults
coming up the fish ladder and in the holding ponds. Tours during mid-October
through December feature eggs and small fry in indoor incubation trays. In January
the fry are put out in the raceways and the ponds are full. Marking trailers
are at Spring Creek from mid-January to early April. Release of the smolts happen
in two release dates during April and May. Call 509-493-1730 for exact
The Information & Education (I&E) Office coordinates a popular Salmon-in-the-Classroom
activity in area schools. Students rear salmon obtained from the hatchery in
tanks, giving them the ability to observe and learn about the salmon as they
grow. Several area schools have
"adopted" streams in local communities. This provides further
opportunities to explore water quality, habitat, and overall watershed
health. Salmon and stream units combine as students actually release
their salmon into local streams. Many cooperators work
together to make such activities possible.
past year five schools in the Klickitat Basin were fortunate
enough to have fish tanks and chillers provided to them for
continual use by the Yakama
Nation Fisheries Program. In addition to in-class presentation
by our office, a fisheries biologist from the Yakama Nation
made class visits to explain their program and explain more
about the cultural significance of salmon to native people.
Other educational opportunities that are provided by the I&E Office
include classroom visits to better understand internal and external anatomy
through fish dissection or Gyotaku (the Japanese art of fish printing),
or learning how hatcheries play an important role in species conservation.
An array of educational material known as "fin bins" are available
for loan to educators, as are a variety of videos, curriculum, and resource
Each year the hatcheries participate in annual events which highlight what the
hatcheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are all about. Annual events
include the Clark County Home and Garden IDEA Fair (Vancouver, WA), HUGS Festival (White Salmon, WA), National Boating
and Fishing Week activities (June) including the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Free Fishing Clinic and U.S. Forest Service Trout Lake Fish Education Day.
In addition, Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery holds an annual Open House
each September and Carson National Fish Hatchery has a Kid's Fishing Day in September. All of these are FREE events!!
The Fish and Wildlife Service is a partner with many other agencies in our outreach
efforts. Often times a partnership allows an outreach activity or event
to take place where it may not have if working alone. A partnership with
the Underwood Conservation District in
White Salmon, WA allows projects like the Jewett
Creek Restoration Project to restore fish habitat and support education
projects. Partnering with Oregon
Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Washington
Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest
Service, the Yakama Nation
Fisheries Program and
others allows the Information & Education staff to be more involved
in diverse outreach opportunities.
Golf- Links to the Sea miniature golf course...
to the Sea is an innovative game which depicts the life cycle of salmon. Five
holes take the salmon from the hatchery through such perils as terns, gulls,
mergansers, and disease. Then on to a working dam where the fish must pass through
either the bypass, spillway, or the turbines. On to the ocean where they encounter
sea lions, orcas, commercial fisherman and starvation. Back up to the dam and
over the fish ladder, and finally dodging fishing boats and sport fishermen to
re-enter the hatchery. It is a clever way to teach the young and old about the
trials and tribulations that these fish face. This popular activity makes appearances
at hatchery open houses, special events and special requests.