Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region

2015 Event Calendar

Spring Chinook Salmon - Alevins, Fry, Juveniles, and Smolts

January - December
Come visit anytime of the year to see the young spring Chinook salmon that we raise. Eggs are taken in August and September and raised through the alevin stage in egg stacks in the nursery. We have an egg stack where you can view the developing eggs and alevins late August through December. By mid to late December the alevins have used up their yolk sac and become fry. The fry are placed in the nursery tanks, kept on well water, and fed as many as 8x/day. Come see these little babies up close during this time. On January 1 all of fish celebrate their birthday, our babies become age-1 and our juveniles age-2. In late March we move the age-1 fry into the outside raceways where they rear for an additional year on a mix of river and well water. In April our age-2 juveniles that are in the outside raceways are smolting and preparing for life in the salt-water ocean by becoming more silver and their kidneys will change to process all the salt. They are released mid-April and then travel the 496 miles and past 7 dams to the Columbia River estuary and Pacific Ocean where they will rear, most for 2 to 3 years and jacks for 1 year, returning as age-3, 4, and 5.

Winter Life Snowshoe Tour

January - February
Join a trained naturalist on a guided tour through a winter trail full of life. We provide the snowshoes. Tours are offered Friday-Sunday, and reservations are required. To ensure a more personal experience, groups are limited to a total of ten, ages 8 and up are welcome. Tours begin at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery main building. Visit Friends of Northwest Hatcheries to make a reservation. You may also arrange for guided group tours during the week.

Special Olympics

Visit Special Olympics Washington for more information about this winter event. Cross Country Skiing for this event is held on Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery property and is proudly supported by our local community.

Arbor Day

Celebrating the power of trees as part of the Greater Wenatchee Arbor Day. Several tree seedlings will be available for distribution at eavenworth National Fish Hatchery.

Release of Spring Chinook Salmon

These eighteen month old fry are smolting, preparing for life in the ocean, and will be released into Icicle Creek. You are welcome to say farewell and good luck before they depart on their 500 mile journey to the Pacific Ocean. They will spend up to three years in the ocean maturing to return here to spawn a new generation.

Release of Coho Salmon

In April, the Yakama Indian Nation will release coho salmon into Icicle Creek.  Call 509-548-7641 for more information.

Earth Day

The Leavenworth Earth Day celebration in Lion's Club Park on a Sunday afternoon is a great community event. We have had the "Wheel of Fish", "Fishing Bingo" and other things at the event. Other groups bring information and activities. There will be food, music, entertainment, and celebration of our Earth and environment.

Coded Wire Tagging

When you visit the hatchery and see a large white trailer on the grounds, it can only mean one thing. It's tagging time. Spring Chinook salmon fry are herded into the trailer where they are tagged. A tiny coded wire is inserted into the snout of the fry for identification. These wires are encoded with data that identify hatchery origin and year of fish release. This information is collected and analyzed following spawning. The adipose fin, a fleshy fin located between the dorsal and tail fin, the mystery fin, is clipped to identify the fry as a hatchery fish.

Adult Spring Chinook Salmon

Adult spring Chinook salmon return to Icicle Creek mid-May through July. These three, four and five year olds have a long journey of almost 500 miles and 7 dams from the Pacific Ocean. The salmon support a tribal and sport fishery in Icicle Creek. Hatchery water attracts the adults to ascend the fish ladder and enter the two adult holding ponds. You can view these fish in the ponds from the viewing platform or on a live video shown in the hatchery visitor center. We keep just over 1,000 salmon for spawning, excess fish are distributed primarily to regional tribes. The salmon are spawned in late August into early September.

Kids in the Creek

This high school field day delivers a comprehensive curriculum on stream ecology. High school students explore actual field methods for assessing aquatic and riparian habitat, water quantity, water quality and indicator insects, as well as an introduction to land use planning considerations.  Students put on waders, collect samples, analyze data and work with natural resource specialists to evaluate conditions in the stream. In 2015 Kids in the Creek will be held at Entiat National Fish Hatchery on May 5, 6, and 7.

Kids Fishing Day

Our apoligies, in 2015 we will not have a Fishing Day event.
We have had to cancel the 2015 Leavenworth NFH's FREE Kids Fishing Day to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week the first week in June. Construction on our new pipeline to deliver water to the hatchery is scheduled April - August. We will not be able to get water to the ponds (raceway) where we have the fishing event.

National Trails Day

First Saturday of June
Enjoy a quiet walk on the 1 mile loop Icicle Nature Trail on the first Saturday in June to celebrate National Trails Day.

Leavenworth Summer Theater

July/August, See schedule
Live outdoor theater at Hatchery Park. Tickets can be purchased through Leavenworth Summer Theater.

Spring Chinook Salmon Spawning

Late August-Early September
Salmon are usually spawned on Tuesdays with three spawning days typical. Watch the action from the viewing platform at the adult holding ponds. Also visit the nursery to see the eggs being rinsed and placed in the egg stacks. Spawning begins early in the morning and may take three to six hours.

Wenatchee River Salmon Festival

September 19, 2015 from 10am-5pm
For further information: (509) 548-6662 or www.salmonfest.org

Special Fishing Days

Rainbow trout fishing offers a fun activity for senior adults and people with special needs. Seeing the smiles and hearing the excitement makes this one of the best fishing experiences of the year. (By invitation only)  For more information call (509) 548-7641.

12790 Fish Hatchery Road, Leavenworth, WA 98826, (509) 548-7641

Chinook Salmon - Photo: USFWS
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon- Photo: NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Coho Salmon
NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Steelhead Trout - Photo: USFWS
Steelhead Trout
Rainbow Trout - Photo: USFWS
Rainbow Trout
Pacific Lamprey - Photo: USFWS
Pacific Lamprey
Bull Trout - Photo: USFWS
Bull Trout
Aquatic Invasive Species Zebra Mussels - Photo: USGS
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Zebra Mussels
Last updated: March 16, 2015
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