Winthrop Hatchery Tours
Scheduling a tour of Winthrop Hatchery is easy to do. Tours are available Monday – Friday between 10 am and 2 pm each day. Scheduling for larger groups by calling ahead provides hatchery staff time to plan and customize a special tour just for your school, organization, business, or community group.
Tours include a walk in the visitor center and hatchery nursery providing several opportunities to view salmon. Also included, is a beautiful stroll through the grounds. Picnic tables are available in various locations to picnic on the hatchery property where you can observe wildlife and enjoy the smell and sounds of nature at its best. Call 509-996-2424 for more information.
New Adult Holding Pond
Construction of the new Spawning Facility at Winthrop NFH is complete. The facility is up and running for the collection of 2012 spring Chinook salmon. Visitors are able to observe salmon through a viewing window below the water line as well as watch spawning operations from a designated visitors room.
Kids Fishing Pond Relocation
A new fishing pond is constructed on hatchery property. Construction is complete thanks to the generous support by Methow Valley Fly Fishers (MVFF) who donated many hours of time, labor, and a contractor to complete the work. Plumbing to the pond will occur in conjunction with the new adult holding pond and spawning shed. The pond should be completed and functional in time for the June fishing event of 2012.
Increased PIT tagging
PIT tagging helps biologists evaluate and study current fish programs. Winthrop increased PIT tagging to evaluate differences between 1-year steelhead and 2-year steelhead smolt programs. The two groups now receive 15,000 PIT tags each prior to release.
The increased number of PIT tags will improve the accuracy of survival and out migration time estimates and help to determine any significant differences or benefits in rearing steelhead smolts for an additional year at the hatchery. The natural steelhead in the Methow River are primarily 2-year old smolts when they migrate to the ocean, so the hatchery is trying to determine the best rearing strategy in the hatchery environment in order to maximize out migration rates and adult return rates.
Winthrop National Fish Hatchery Review
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proactively initiated a series of hatchery reviews in May 2005 to assure that its 21 hatchery programs are part of a holistic and integrated strategy—consistent with State, Tribal, and Federal strategies—for conserving wild stocks and managing fisheries in watersheds within the Columbia River Basin. These reviews were tailored after a successful process recently implemented in Puget Sound and Coastal Washington watersheds.
The team completed their review of the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery (NFH) program in April 2007. The Hatchery Review Team, comprised of Service and other federal scientists (NOAA & USGS) conducted field tours with hatchery managers and their staffs, reviewed hatchery operations, and met the co-managing agencies and tribes to get a clear understanding of the goals for and status of each wild and hatchery population and their associated habitat and management strategies. Following these field visits, the team put together recommendations for each hatchery which were then documented in the Pacific Region Hatchery Review Team Report. See the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery section in the Leavenworth Complex Review Final Report.
Winthrop NFH Beaver Relocation Project