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Hatchery Review

Office building

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a series of hatchery reviews in May 2005 to assure that its hatchery programs in the Northwest are part of a scientifically-sound and integrated strategy - consistent with State, Tribal, and other Federal strategies - for conserving wild stocks and managing fisheries in watersheds within the Region. The reviews, tailored after a successful process implemented in Puget Sound and Coastal Washington watersheds, examined 53 hatchery programs at 24 federally-owned hatcheries in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. They were completed in January 2011. The activities below highlight the successes that came out of the review of Quinault National Fish Hatchery.


Program Goals and Objectives

  • We discontinued our fall Chinook salmon propagation in 2011 due to low annual returns to Cook Creek; the Quinault Indian Nation's fall Chinook program was expanded to accommodate elimination of Quinault NFH production (addresses Program Alternative 2 - Transfer fall Chinook hatchery production to the Quinault Indian Nation's Lake Quinault Pen Rearing Facility).

Broodstock Choice and Collection

We discontinued transfers of Quinault NFH winter steelhead to the Hoh River to avoid ecological, genetic, and disease (IHN) risks to wild Hoh River steelhead populations. The hatchery has provided technical support and supplies to the Hoh Nation as it develops its Chalaat Creek Rearing Site and local broodstock program (addresses Recommendations QN34a, QN37).

Hatchery and Natural Spawning, Adult Returns

We initiated mass-marking of Quinault NFH steelhead (Recommendation QN3) coordinated with the Quinault Indian Nation during their monitoring of ecological interactions between wild and hatchery juvenile and adult coho (addresses Recommendations QN43, 47).

Incubation and Rearing

We investigated and/or implemented methods (e.g. egg rinsing solutions, different egg loading densities) to further increase and ensure green to eyed-egg survival for steelhead and coho stay consistently high (addresses Recommendations QN6, QN44).

Release and Outmigration

We discontinued steelhead and coho fry outplants into Cook Creek. Eliminate the program objective of releasing 20,500 yearling steelhead and 143,000 coho fry into Cook Creek to reduce ecological risks to natural-origin steelhead and salmon (addresses Recommendations QN11, QN46).

Facilities and Operations

We rehabilitated the spawning building, including installation of a new roof, upgraded electrical systems, and security fencing. (addresses Recommendation QN14). We also rebuilt recirculation/reuse pump #2 and changed operation to emergency use only (addresses Recommendation QN16). Lastly, we replaced old rearing pond walkways that had posed safety risks.

Research, Monitoring, and Accountability

A Hatchery Evaluation Team meets at least twice-yearly to review, discuss, and recommend potential changes to the hatchery facility and its programs (addresses Recommendation QN28).

Research, Education, and Outreach

We remodeled the Visitor Center and updated educational and interpretive displays (addresses Recommendation QN31A). We also reinstituted Kids Fishing Day in 2009-2010. IHNV outbreaks have prevented Fishing Day from being re-scheduled, so outreach has been expanded off-site to local tribal schools. (addresses Recommendation QN32)

See the final Hatchery Review report for the Olympic Peninsula hatcheries.

Last Updated: September 21, 2016
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