Kooskia National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region

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During the current public health emergency, when possible, national fish hatcheries will remain open to the public. However facility resources and events may be limited.  Check FWS Coronavirus Response page and call for local conditions.


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Hatchery History

Kooskia National Fish Hatchery, authorized by Congress in August 1961, was established to rear spring chinook salmon for release into the Clearwater River basin. The hatchery is located 1.5 miles southeast of Kooskia, Idaho near the confluence of Clear Creek and the Middle Fork Clearwater River. Kooskia National Fish Hatchery is managed and operated by the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.Construction of the hatchery was started in 1966.  Fish production, begun in 1969, established runs of adult spring chinook salmon returning to Clear Creek. Smolts released from the hatchery return 2-3 years later as 7-20 pound adults.

In 2007, the certification of the Snake River Basin Adjudication settlement included transfer of hatchery management to the Nez Perce Tribe, who are responsible for the day-to-day fish production, supporting the goal to raise and release up to 600,000 juvenile spring Chinook salmon annually.

Kooskia National Fish Hatchery aerial view

Spring Chinook Salmon Production

Adult salmon are trapped at Kooskia from May through August, and transported to Dworshak hatchery for spawning. Eyed eggs are returned to Kooskia in the fall, where they are incubated, hatched and reared. They are released 18 months later into Clear Creek, to migrate 540 miles past 8 dams to the Pacific Ocean. Salmon smolts released at the hatchery return 2-3 years later as adult fish.

How to get to the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery

Kooskia National Fish Hatchery is located in Idaho County. The site lies approximately 3 miles east of the town of Kooskia, Idaho and is adjacent to Clear Creek which flows into the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River.

Directions: At Kooskia, Idaho take either bridge exit off Highway 12, follow posted signs to the main hatchery entrance. Hatchery hours are daily 7:30am to 4pm. Closed major holidays. Our hatchery telephone number is (208) 926-4272.

Visit our driving directions page to map your route using Google™ Maps.


Adult Spring  Chinook Salmon

Last updated: March 24, 2020
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