Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region

Photo collage of historic photos of Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery building, ponds, egg fertilization, and fish marking - Photos: USFWS
Historic photos of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery building, ponds, egg fertilization and fish marking.

LNFH was authorized by the Grand Coulee Fish Maintenance Project, April 3, 1937 and reauthorized by the Mitchell Act (52 Stat. 345), May 11, 1938.  The Mitchell Act authorized the Secretary of Commerce “…to establish one or more salmon cultural stations in the Columbia Basin in each of the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.”  LNFH is one of three mid-Columbia stations constructed by the BOR as fish mitigation facilities for the Grand Coulee Dam, Columbia Basin Project. A fourth hatchery, Chief Joseph Fish Hatchery, is funded by BPA and currently under construction.   Construction of the LNFH  took place from 1938 to 1940 on 170 acres of Icicle Valley land, two miles south of the town of Leavenworth.

When the LNFH  was first established, spring Chinook salmon and steelhead were identified as the primary mitigation species. The initial operating plan for the LNFH called for adult spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead to be trapped at Rock Island Dam and hauled to Leavenworth NFH for holding and spawning. Salmon and steelhead trapped at the Rock Island Dam represented a mix of fish destined for the upper Columbia River system. LNFH was originally considered to be the primary adult holding and spawning site with eggs shipped from there to the Entiat and Winthrop facilities.

Over the years, the LNFH production program has included a variety of species including spring and summer Chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead, kokanee, and various resident salmonids.  Since 1974, spring Chinook salmon have been the priority species and the continued success of the program provides for sport, tribal and commercial fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, Columbia River and Icicle Creek. 

In 1998, the LNFH was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior, recognizing the historic significance of its construction in 1939. Major features on the facility site now include the hatchery building nursery and visitor center, adult holding ponds, fish ladder, numerous raceways, historic Foster-Lucas rearing ponds, sand settling basin, pollution abatement pond, and nature trail.

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 25, 2013
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery
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