For several years, Makah NFH has participated in the annual Makah Days celebration. A hatchery float has already become a favorite of the opening day parade.
Summer is actually the slow time for fish production at Makah NFH. Yearling coho salmon and steelhead trout are released as smolts in early spring. Chinook smolts are released in late spring/early summer after only 6 months at the hatchery. The next year's generation of coho and steelhead spend the summer months in the raceways.
Fall is the busy time of year at the hatchery. Large numbers of returning adult salmon crowd the Sooes River and hatchery brood ponds during the months of October through December. December and January bring the return of hatchery steelhead. During this time, all of the eggs are taken for next year's releases. These eggs remain in the incubation facility until late winter/early spring, when they hatch and swim up as fry and are transferred to the outside raceways to begin feeding.
Because of the extreme environmental conditions encountered during the summer months, fish health has always been a major concern at Makah NFH. Low river flows and high water temperatures put increased stress on the fingerlings. As part of an ongoing effort to increase adult returns, studies are undertaken to help understand and control disease. These are done in cooperation with the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Program (AADAP) and the FDA. Hatchery staff also monitor the fish constantly and adjust conditions as much as possible to minimize the stress on the fish and maintain healthy conditions.
For more details about happenings at the hatchery, or to schedule a group tour call the hatchery at 360-645-2521