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  • A Place for Pollinators

    pollinator garden

    The hatchery has taken on improving habitat for pollinators! Most recently we have added several new Dogwood trees in memory of Gale Varner, a long time hatchery volunteer.

  • 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.

  • Salmon Released...

    Eagle Creek

    Late in March of 2020 we released approximately 350,000 Coho smolts into Eagle Creek. 

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice

    During the current public health emergency, when possible, national fish hatcheries will remain open to the public. However facility resources and events may be limited.  Check FWS Coronavirus Response page and call for local conditions.

what's happening at the hatchery

What's Hatchin'?

The coho fry at Eagle Creek NFH are abiding by the current Stay Home Save Lives directives and quaran-teaming in the raceways.  Happily, this is just what they usually do at this time of year and this point in their life cycles – hang out in fresh water, social distance/hide from predators and look for food.  The fry from the last spawning group were ponded in mid-April and they are rapidly catching up to the earlier groups this is a relatively easy to do as the fish are fed a controlled ration to keep them healthy and at the same time match their growth rate to approximately what it would be if they were in the wild fending for themselves.  Our other feeding target is to synchronize the fry size so that when the tagging trailer is expected to arrive in late June, all the fry are a similar same size and trailer operations will be smoother and more efficient.  This means that groups of fish which are on the smaller side will get fed a slightly higher percentage of their body weight while groups of fish that are on the larger side will get fed a slightly lower percentage of their body weight.  All the fry will get a full meal when they are fed though – this is important to keep the size of the fish in one raceway relatively uniform.  If we fed just a little bit, not enough that all the fish would have a chance to get full, the sizes of fish within a raceway would spread out – the more aggressive fish in the population would get more than their share of the feed, and the less aggressive fish would not get enough.  Feeding in a way that gives all the fish have a fair chance at a full stomach reduces this size spread.  The hatchery staff is tuned in to this and keeps an eye on the fish – as well as taking frequent sample counts – to be sure that the fish are on track.

The water temperatures are on a warming trend and the receiving pond and fish ladder has been shut down to prevent additional warming of the water in these unshaded areas.  The ladder will be reopened in late September, when the water is on a cooling trend again and the returning adult coho may start showing up at the hatchery.

In the mean time we will do what we usually do – feed fish, clean up after them and make sure they are healthy.  It’s a bit damp right now – which is a good thing for the fish and our water supply - but we’re are planning the summer maintenance projects – painting buildings, caring for (and expanding!) the pollinator garden areas and otherwise keeping the hatchery in good shape.

Recent Fish Returns

As of December 03, 2019, 3,732 adult Coho 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: August 05, 2020
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