Spring Chinook Salmon
Group picture of staff and tribal members holding adult salmon.
|Spring Chinook salmon are raised at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery (LNFH) for the first 18 months of their lives. These salmon are released from the hatchery raceways through pipes to Icicle Creek in April. From there, they begin an arduous 500 mile journey down the Columbia River, through 7 major hydropower dams to reach the Pacific Ocean.
One to three years later they will return as adults to travel upstream through Columbia River to Wenatchee River and finally to Icicle Creek. Adult spring Chinook salmon enter the Columbia River from March through May and arrive in Icicle Creek in May and June. At that point they make their last big push up the hatchery fish ladder into the holding ponds where they will live out the rest of their days before they are ready to spawn and create a new generation of fish. Spawning of these fish at LNFH occurs in mid-August each year. Only 1,000 adult spring Chinook salmon are needed for spawning, and the others provide opportunity for sport and tribal fisheries in Icicle Creek and lower Columbia River.
Visit our Returns page to find out how many fish have returned.