Welcome to the Little White Salmon Fish Hatchery! Founded in 1898, it is the oldest Columbia River hatchery and a pioneer of salmon propagation. We raise and release roughly 5.5 million young spring and up-river bright fall Chinook salmon each year; in addition we collect eggs for other facilities in the region bringing our total egg collection to around 16.5 million annually. Our hatchery mitigates fishery losses due to hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River and provides for an important sport fishery, while also fulfills tribal trust responsibilities. Furthermore, we belong to a Complex of hatcheries along the Columbia River Gorge that partners with Tribes to produce over 22.5 million salmon per year to mitigate fishery losses, restore fish populations, and provide Tribes with an important cultural resource - now that's a lot of fish!
fishing boats on Drano Lake
Adult Fish Returns

4,887 spring Chinook salmon adults have returned to the hatchery as of July 10, 2024.

What We Do

The Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery produces 1.4 million spring Chinook and 4.5 million upriver bright fall Chinook salmon for on-site release and another 1.1 million upriver brights for marking and transfer to the Yakama Nation Prosser Hatchery. We also collect eggs for various other federal, state, and tribal programs, bringing our annual egg take up around 16.5 million. Our annual production fulfills tribal trust responsibilities, and mitigates for tribal, sport, and commercial fishery losses associated with the operation of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River.

Our Organization

Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.

Our Species

Our hatchery raises two types of Chinook salmon: upriver bright fall Chinook salmon and spring Chinook salmon. Find out why this species is sometimes called king salmon!

Visit Us

Where We're Located

We are located in south central Washington on the Little White Salmon River approximately one mile upstream from the Columbia River. The Little White Salmon River joins the Columbia River at river mile 162. Drano Lake is a natural lake at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River and is a popular sport and tribal fishing area. 

When To See The Fish

Fish hatcheries are generally located in beautiful locations and the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery is no exception. Come enjoy the river scenery with a peaceful picnic, view the majestic river at a unique overlook, find your favorite bird, or simply watch the salmon swim home to the hatchery via our viewing platform or underground viewing room!  You can see adult spring Chinook salmon May through August; and fall Chinook salmon October through November. We are open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. To schedule a tour, please call the Hatchery at 509-538-2755 or the Columbia Gorge Information and Education Office at 509-493-2934.

Get Involved

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. We 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 cheri_anderson@fws.gov, or call Cheri at (509) 493-1730

Location and Contact Information