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Although most hatchery lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you Recreate Responsibly.

  • • Check local conditions on this website and called for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • • The CDC recommends all individuals wear a mask indoors in public in areas of substantial or high transmission. Recognizing that most of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories and to best protect visitors and our staff, we've implemented a nationwide mask requirement. Masks are now required inside all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service buildings, regardless of vaccination status or location. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands.
  • • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.

  • Carson National Fish Hatchery grounds are open to the public, but the contact station and offices remain closed to visitation. Please call the hatchery directly at 509-427-5905 for further information.

    UPDATE: Carson NFH 2021 Kids' Fishing Day is postponed. We hope to be able to offer our community event next fall in 2022.

hatchery highlights and Features

  • Fishing at your Fingertips!

    adult salmon jumping

    All you need to know for fishing can be found on the new Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Mobile Fishing app. Fish Washington puts up-to-the-minute fishing regulations at your fingertips!

  • Hatchery Release...


    We released our spring Chinook salmon into the Wind River on April 12, 2021. Despite closures due to COVID-19 you can still enjoy a drive in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

  • Learn About Our Hatcheries...

    The Gorge facilities were highlighted in a recent Outdoor GPS segment. Take a look here to learn more about National Fish Hatcheries and where salmon come from!

  • Invasive Zebra Mussels Found in Aquarium Supplies

    zebra mussel

    ALERT! Invasive zebra mussels were recently found in "moss balls,” an aquarium plant sold at aquarium and pet supply stores. 
    DO NOT DUMP THEM! Follow these Disposal Instructions to keep our waterways safe.

what's happening at the hatchery

What's Hatchin'...

Please recreate responsibly, maintain social distance and wear a mask!

**If you have a wildlife issue please contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (509) 575-2740; or their Dispatch at (509) 283-7803.

As we enter into May, now is a time of transition for our production cycle. The smolts that were hatched in October of 2019 were released last month and are now headed out to sea. All of the empty raceways were power washed and disinfected. Now the marking crews are here to give all fish from the next cohort an adipose fin clip, so anglers can tell that they are hatchery origin fish. Another 9% or 137,000 are also tagged with a Coded Wire Tag in their snout. Once marked the fish are restocked into the newly cleaned and disinfected raceways to reduce density. Since the weather is also transitioning from rainy winter to sunny summer, shade cloth is installed over some raceways to protect the fry from the sun. Strange to think of fish getting a sunburn, but it happens.

And as our smolts head out to sea, the smolts we released two years ago are returning from the sea as full grown adults. We cleaned out our adult holding pond and fish ladder to make sure everything is working and opened them up. As the adults return we will hold them until they are ready to spawn in August and start a brand new cohort.

Recent Carson NFH Fish Returns

As of June 30, 2021,

2,573 adult Spring Chinook Salmon have returned to the hatchery.


Ten-Year Return/Release Information

Last Updated: August 26, 2021

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These fish were raised at Quilcene National Fish Hatchery. While we don't raise coho salmon at Carson NFH, the egg-to-fry hatch for our spring Chinook salmon is similar. Credit: Florian Graner

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