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Visit Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery


The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs realized long ago the need to restore the fishery resource, not only for the benefit of Indians, but for everyone.  The Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery was started as a cooperative effort to make more fish available on the Columbia, Deschutes, and Warm Springs rivers.  Each year young Chinook salmon are released into the Warm Springs River to replenish and restore fish populations. 

The hatchery provides a safe environment for the development of eggs, fry, and fingerlings. Controlled conditions allow the hatchery staff to mimic growing conditions of wild fish.

  • Hours of Operation


    Salmon rearing begins with adult spring Chinook returning upstream from April through August. Spawning begins in August and continues weekly through September. In December and January fry are transferred to nursery tanks. By March, fry develop into fingerlings and are put into the outdoor raceways after being acclimated to cooler outside temperatures.  In April and May, hatchery fingerlings are tagged with a coded wire tag in the snout and an adipose fin clip to distinguish them from wild fish.

    6:30 a.m..-3 p.m. daily

  • Driving Directions


    170 miles east of Portland, Oregon; or 72 miles north of Bend, OR. 1 mile from Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Spa.

  • Contact Us


    P.O. Box 790
    Warm Springs, OR, 97761
    (541) 553-1692


  • Tribal History


    The Land
    The Warm Springs Indian Reservation covers nearly 640,000 acres, much less than the original territory ceded by the tribes to the U. S. Government under the Treaty of 1855. Tracing their ancestry to the Wascos, Paiutes, and Upper and Lower Deschutes bands of Walla Wallas, the membership of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon currently numbers more than 3,500. Since time immemorial, the Tribes have derived their physical and emotional sustenance from the region's land, water, fish, game, berries, and roots.

    Their Ancestors
    The Wasco bands on the Columbia River lived in permanent settlements and spoke the Chinookan language. They were principally fishers and traders who exchanged their root breads, salmon meats, and bear grass for other commodities.

    The Upper and Lower Deschutes bands of Walla Walla (now Warm Springs) lived upriver from the Wascos and spoke Sahaptin. Salmon was also an important staple for them, but they moved their winter and summer villages in order to follow game, dig roots, and harvest berries.

    The Paiutes lived south of the Columbia River, high plateau country, and spoke a Shoshonean dialect. Fishing was not as important to them as for tribes nearer the Columbia River. Their hunting and gathering activities required a more nomadic existence.

    Their Salmon Fisheries
    The Wascos and Deschutes bands of the Walla Wallas built scaffolding over falls in the Columbia and its tributaries, where they used long-handled dip nets to harvest the migrating salmon. These and other tribal groups developed an extensive economic network that centered on the mid-Columbia region and depended heavily on the Columbia River and its resources, particularly the salmon.

    Historically, catching the first spring salmon involved extensive ceremony and approval of the tribal chiefs. Most recently, Indians continue their pursuit of salmon for sustenance and as a part of their cultural heritage; however, few sites such as Celilo Falls, destroyed by the Dalles Dam in 1956, remain. You may still see Indians fishing at Sherar's Falls on the Deschutes River.
Last Updated: August 6, 2018
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