We support restoration programs for coho salmon in the Yakima and Clearwater drainages, and produce coho salmon for local sport and commercial fisheries. We also participate in work study programs for Mt. Hood Community College Fishery Technology students and have outreach programs for area schools.
What We Do
Eagle Creek produces 1.5 million coho salmon annually. 350,000 coho smolts (young salmon) are released on site into Eagle Creek; 550,000 are transferred to the Nez Perce Tribe and 500,000 are transferred to the Yakama Nation to support coho restoration projects in their watersheds.
Coho (or silver) salmon are powerfully built and can jump falls that most salmon cannot negotiate. They have small black spots on their backs and the upper lobe of the tail fin. The gums at the base of the teeth are white. Although sea-run coho have silver sides, spawning males develop bright red sides and greenish backs. Spawning females are paler. The jaws of the spawning males often become grotesquely hooked.
Most coho spend 18 months at sea, sticking to coastal waters, and return to their home streams at 3 years of age and 8 to 10 pounds. The fry spend over a year living in streams.
Where We're Located
Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon. The hatchery can be easily reached from I-205 via State Highway 224 driving east towards Estacada. One mile past the intersection with State Highway 211, turn left onto Wildcat Mountain Drive for 2 miles, turning right onto Eagle Fern Road. Follow Eagle Fern Road another 7 miles, past Eagle Fern County Park and continue up Eagle Creek on George Road. About four miles past Eagle Fern Park, turn right onto Rainbow Road and follow it for 2 miles, ending at the Eagle Creek hatchery.
When To See The Fish
Juvenile fish are on station year-round. Adult coho salmon return in late September, October, and November. On selective days during the return months, visitors can watch the hatchery crew spawn fish. The staff at Eagle Creek is willing to answer questions and provide tours as we have time available.
Our Pollinator Garden
Our hatchery is improving habitat for native pollinators. We have a pollinator garden with over 25 species of native plants, an edible berry garden, and an information kiosk. Ladybugs return by the hundreds at the hatchery. Did you know that a group of ladybugs is called a "lovliness of ladybugs" and they can be seen throughout the facility in our pollinator gardens.
Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National fish hatcheries provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love. National fish hatcheries partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of both urban and rural communities to make a lasting difference. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved!
We enjoy having volunteers at our hatchery! We offer both daily and long-term opportunities. The hatcheries provide local individuals the opportunity to volunteer by assisting hatchery staff with special events, fish production, and light maintenance activities. All volunteers compliment our hatchery programs and offer valuable support. To volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Cheri at (509) 493-1730.