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  • A Place for Pollinators

    pollinator garden

    The hatchery has taken on improving habitat for pollinators! New areas have been created and old gardens replanted with native plants that attract and enhance natural pollinators. Take a look!

  • What We Do...

    Coho Salmon

    Eagle Creek produces 1.5 million Coho salmon annually. 350,000 are released on site, 550,000 are transferred to the Nez Perce Tribe and 500,000 are transferred to the Yakama Nation to support Coho restoration projects in their watersheds.

  • Open House...

    Eagle Creek

    Join us Saturday, March 30 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm as we release 350,000 Coho smolts into Eagle Creek.  We try to coordinate with a rain event as this provides smolts with camouflage while they acclimate and begin their seaward migration.  

what's happening at the hatchery

What's Hatchin'?

The coho eggs that were spawned in early November are now hatching out of their eggs.  The eggs were picked (dead eggs removed) and counted into incubation trays that are organized for ponding into the raceways.  At this stage, the fry are very delicate again and they like to be left alone in the dark, so that's what we do.  They have their own lunch in their yolk sacks so they don't need any feed from us.  They will have used up all their yolk sometime in early March.  At this point in the wild the fry would start coming up out of the gravel and looking for food.  At the hatchery, we will take them out to the raceways and start offering them feed.  Like any young animal, they need frequent feeding and careful tending while they figure out how to swim and eat and generally behave like fish.

Their older siblings, now a year old, are starting to smolt.  Smolting is a process of going through some physiological changes in preparation for life in salt water.  Their skin shifts color from browns and greens and spots to sleek silver scales.  They get longer and thinner and start dashing around the raceways, thinking about migration out to sea.  There are special cells in their gills that become active and able to expel salt, which will enable them to drink sea water and not die of dehydration.  These yearlings will be released on March 30 for their migration out to sea, where they will spend the next year and a half foraging for food and growing much larger. 

Recent Fish Returns

As of January 31, 2019, 0 adult winter steelhead have returned to Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery .
As of November 20, 2018, 3,719 adult coho salmon have returned to Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery .
Last Updated: March 12, 2019
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