Since 1871 the National Fish Hatchery System has worked to restore aquatic species that are important to the health of our aquatic systems. This country-wide network of national fish hatcheries works with states and tribes to conserve, restore and enhance the fish and aquatic resources of America for future generations.
Nestled in the temperate rain forest of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, just a mile from the rugged Pacific coast, sits the Makah National Fish Hatchery. Since 1981, we've annually raised around three million salmon and trout for release into the Tsoo-Yess River on the Makah Indian Reservation.
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.
Makah National Fish Hatchery raises and releases fall Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and winter steelhead for the Tsoo-Yess River primarily to support these critical cultural and economic resources with the Makah Indian Tribe as part of U.S. treaty obligations (Secretarial Order #3206).
The Makah National Fish Hatchery exists in partnership with the Makah Indian Tribe for the continued enhancement of Pacific salmon along Washington State's northwest coast. In the early 1970s, the Makah Indian Tribe saw the rapid decline of salmon and steelhead in the Tsoo-Yess and Wa'atch watersheds as a threat to their way of life. Tribe representatives asked Congress to fulfill the U.S.'s obligations within the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay, which guaranteed these fish as a cultural resource for area tribes. In response, Congress authorized the Makah National Fish Hatchery in 1976. Construction began soon after and the hatchery began operations in 1981. The original species raised for release included winter steelhead, chum salmon, coho salmon, and fall Chinook salmon. Today, we raise and release all but chum salmon.
Other Facilities in this Complex
The Makah National Fish Hatchery is part of the Puget Sound/Olympic Peninsula Fisheries Complex, which also includes the Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (WWFWCO) and the Quilcene and Quinault National Fish Hatcheries.