What We Do
Quilcene National Fish Hatchery releases approximately 400,000 young coho salmon into the Big Quilcene River annually. This facility also provides approximately 200,000 coho salmon fry to the Skokomish tribal net pen in Quilcene Bay, and 600,000 developing eggs for the Port Gamble S'Klallam net pen program annually. The process of spawning adults, incubating eggs, rearing fry, marking and tagging fry, and releasing millions of fish each year requires dedicated year-round work from our hatchery staff, hatchery evaluation team, and fish health veterinarians. Please visit our Fish Production Cycle Page for a more detailed description of the work we do.
Management and Conservation
Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been responding to conservation challenges affecting America’s fish and other aquatic species. Producing fish continues to be an irreplaceable tool in managing or restoring fisheries along with habitat conservation.
Quilcene National Fish Hatchery rears and releases approximately 400,000 young coho salmon into the Big Quilcene River every year. These hatchery fish helps support the population in the region and allow for their continued role for Tribes, recreational sport fishing, commercial fishing, and the watershed ecosystem. This work involves a collaborative effort with five partner tribes (Port Gamble S' Klallam, Jamestown S, Klallam, Skokomish, Lower Elwha Klallam, and Suquamish Tribes), other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offices, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and non-profit partners. These collaborative efforts include annual hatchery evaluations, developing hatchery management strategies, and adjusting production to account for changing habitat and water quality conditions that affect fish populations.
Quilcene National Fish Hatchery has been in operation since 1911. The coho salmon we raise and release provide a resource for tribal cultural practices as well as commercial harvesting and recreational angling opportunities.
Located in beautiful Quilcene, Washington, Quilcene National Fish Hatchery is a popular tourist destinations in the area. We have a small one-room Visitor Center and the public is welcome to walk around the facility to see the fish ponds (raceways), fish ladder, fish weir, and the Big Quilcene River. Guided tours and school field trips can be arranged pending safety and staff availability. Call 360-765-3334 to check availability and to schedule.