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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.
  • • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • • 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.

  • Willard National Fish Hatchery grounds are open to the public; however the restrooms and buildings remain closed. Please call 509-538-2305 for information.


  • Forest Youth Success!

    Forest Youth Success youth crew

    Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, we will not be hosting a youth work team this summer. We hope it returns next summer, learn more about this valuable program...Forest Youth Success!

  • Just Keep Growing...

    Willard NFH

    About one million Upriver Bright Fall Chinook salmon that were received as eggs from the Little White Salmon NFH will be moved from their indoor tanks to outdoor raceways in mid-February.

  • 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!

Currently we have about 840,000 Brood Year 2019 and 730,000 Brood Year 2020 Coho salmon being reared on station for the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program. These will be on station until they reach the pre-smolt stage in March of 2021 and 2022, respectively. Then they will be transferred and acclimated in the mid-Columbia region, near Leavenworth and Winthrop, Washington. 

Additionally, we have about 2.2 million upriver bright fall Chinook that will be released into the Little White Salmon River in July of this year.

This is our busiest season of the year! The staff at the hatchery are caring for this seasons young fish, as well as the fish from over a year ago. They assisted with the fall Chinook spawning at the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery (NFH) in October and cared for their own eggs and fry thereafter.

Spawning of upriver bright fall Chinook salmon was conducted at the Little White Salmon NFH where Willard staff assisted with the spawning and took our own eggs for the Willard NFH program. Five million of the eggs spawned were transferred and hatched at the Carson Depot Springs facility. This is an off-site rearing/incubation facility that is located on the banks of the Columbia River and is operated by the Willard NFH staff. The facility is fed by a spring that was historically used to fill steam engines for the railroad. The water is warmer here than water at the Willard NFH, so development is accelerated. Of the 5 million reared at Carson Depot Springs, 2.3 million will remain there until the fry stage, when they will be transferred to the Willard NFH (February). The remaining 2.7 million will be transferred to the Little White Salmon, Prosser, and Bonniville hatcheries. 

Ten-Year Juvenile Release Information

Last Updated: July 29, 2021
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