About Us

The Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery was authorized under the Mitchell Act of May 1938, as amended in 1946. The purpose of the hatchery was to help compensate for anadromous (migrating to the ocean from fresh water) salmonid losses in the Columbia River basin due to mainstem Columbia River dams. The hatchery continues to operate under the original authorization, rearing and releasing anadromous salmon to support commercial, sport, ocean and river fisheries and to restore salmonids in watersheds in which they have become extinct.

Today the hatchery raises approximately 1.5 million coho salmon annually. The hatchery releases 350,000 coho on site, while 500,000 coho transferred to the Yakama Nation and 550,000 coho are transferred to the Nez Perce Tribe to support coho restoration projects in their watersheds. During its history, the hatchery has also reared fall Chinook, spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead for release at the hatchery and local streams.

The hatchery water supply is exclusively Eagle Creek water with the ponds operating on a gravity flow system. A spring provides a small amount of constant temp 52 degrees (Fahrenheit) water which is used for egg incubation during the winter months.

Our Mission

Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been applying science-based approaches to conservation challenges. We work with our partners and engage the public to conserve, restore, and enhance fish and other aquatic resources for the continuing benefit of the American people. Conservation is at the heart of what we do, and we recognize that we do this work for the American people–both the present generation who benefit today and future generations who will inherit our legacy of conserving America’s aquatic resources.

Our History

The Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery was authorized under the Mitchell Act of May 1938, as amended in 1946. The purpose of the hatchery was to help compensate for anadromous (migrating to the ocean from fresh water) salmonid losses in the Columbia River basin due to mainstem Columbia River dams. The hatchery continues to operate under the original authorization, rearing and releasing anadromous salmon to support commercial, sport, ocean and river fisheries and to restore salmonids in watersheds in which they have become extinct.

Land for the hatchery was purchased from private ownership in 1953 with initial construction completed in September 1956, providing 39 raceways, adult facilities, multi-purpose hatchery building and storage facilities. Fish culture operations were initiated in November 1956 with fall Chinook and spring Chinook being brought to the hatchery. Additional construction in 1965 added 36 additional rearing raceways, with a pollution abatement system being added in l975.

Other Facilities in this Complex

We're part of the Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex, which includes the Carson, Eagle Creek, Little White Salmon, Spring Creek, Warm Springs, and Willard National Fish Hatcheries. Our Complex propagates, releases, and transfers to partners over 25 million salmon to meet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's fisheries mitigation, restoration, and tribal trust responsibilities. Explore what each facility has to offer!