Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region

Conserving the Tule Fall Chinook Salmon


61552 State Road 14
Underwood, WA 98651
Spring Creek NFH Manager - Mark Ahrens

Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery raises more than 15 million Tule Fall Chinook salmon annually. The hatchery uses water from several springs located at the base of the adjacent basalt cliffs, recycling the water through a unique, oyster shell filtration system to conserve water and reduce pollution. Ninety percent of the water used in the hatchery's rearing ponds is recycled.

Spring Creek hatchery is located 4 miles west of the Hood River/White Salmon toll bridge on State Highway 14. Visitors are welcome weekdays from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm. The hatchery is also open on weekends in late August, September and early October, and from December through mid-May. Adult Tule Fall Chinook salmon return in September and visitors can watch the fish being spawned in mid- to late September.

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White Salmon River

Free Flowing White Salmon River...
On October 26, 2011, Condit Dam was breached, returning the White Salmon River to a free-flowing state for the first time in nearly a century.

Learn how, one year later, the Indian Creek Fish Passage Project is providing even more habitat for the Basin's fish species like coho salmon.

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early egg transport

Hatchery History
Established in 1901, Spring Creek hatchery was one of several egg collection stations for the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Clackamas Hatchery, near Portland. As the human population of the Columbia Gorge increased, heavy fishing pressure and destruction of habitat resulted in the U.S. government establishing a fish hatchery at this site.

The original hatchery was flooded when the Bonneville Dam was completed in 1938. After several modifications, the hatchery was redesigned and rebuilt by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1972. Expansion was undertaken to partially compensate for the loss of Fall Chinook spawning grounds due to dam construction along the Columbia River. The hatchery is funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mitchell Act, which is administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

salmon eggs

Salmon in the Classroom
Students throughout the Columbia River Gorge are participating in the popular salmon rearing program for classrooms. Students observe salmon eggs hatch and develop through fry stage. The classes take a field trip to release their salmon back in the Columbia River to culminate the unit. Learn more about our Education Program!

fish counter

Fish Returns
The Fish Passage Center website provides overall return numbers for the basin. Further questions? Please call 509-493-1730.



Last updated: August 2, 2013

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