Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region

Education and Outreach
Columbia Gorge Information & Education Office
61552 SR 14
Underwood, WA 98651

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The Columbia Gorge Information and Education Office offers a year-round public outreach and education program. Our goals are to provide outreach activities that are informative and relevant to our local and visiting public, promote involvement and improve stewardship of our natural resources. We strive to promote awareness of Spring Creek and Carson National Fish Hatcheries and the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Outreach goals are met through a variety of on-site and off-site activities including:


Call (509) 493-2934 or E-mail the Columbia Gorge Information and Education (I&E) Office. Housed at the Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery, one full-time employee and one AmerCorps Volunteer provide outreach services and educational support for the nearby Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery, Carson National Fish Hatchery, and the Lower Columbia River Fish Health Center.

Touring the Hatchery...
Information and Education staff are available to give tours of the hatchery. Hatchery tours are given anytime during the year; however, fall scheduled field trips are generally more eventful. Spawning is taking place, there are adults coming up the fish ladder and in the holding ponds. Tours during mid-October through December feature eggs and small fry in indoor incubation trays. In January the fry are put out in the raceways and the ponds are full. Marking trailers are at Spring Creek from mid-January to early April. Release of the smolts happen in three release dates during March, April and May. Call 509-493-1730 for exact dates.

Educational Opportunities... outreach collage
The Information & Education (I&E) Office coordinates a popular Salmon-in-the-Classroom activity in area schools. Students rear salmon obtained from the hatchery in tanks, giving them the ability to observe and learn about the salmon as they grow. Several area schools have recently "adopted" streams in local communities. This provides further opportunities to explore water quality, habitat, and overall watershed health. Salmon and stream units combine as students actually release their salmon into local streams. Many cooperators work together to make such activities possible.

This past year three schools in the Klickitat Basin were fortunate enough to have fish tanks and chillers provided to them for continual use by the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program. In addition to in-class presentation by our office, a fisheries biologist from the Yakama Nation made class visits to explain their program and explain more about the cultural significance of salmon to native people.

Other educational opportunities that are provided by the I&E Office include classroom visits to better understand internal and external anatomy through fish dissection or Gyotaku (the Japanese art of fish printing), or learning how hatcheries play an important role in species conservation. An array of educational material known as "fin bins" are available for loan to educators, as are a variety of videos, curriculum, and resource books.

Special Events...
Each year the hatcheries participate in annual events which highlight what the hatcheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are all about. Annual events include the Clark County Home and Garden IDEA Fair (Vancouver, WA), Sturgeon Festival (Vancouver, WA), HUGS Festival (White Salmon, WA), National Boating and Fishing Week activities (June) including the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing Clinic and U.S. Forest Service Trout Lake Fish Education Day. In addition, Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery holds an annual Open House each September and Carson National Fish Hatchery has an annual Open House each June and Kid's Fishing Day in September. All of these are FREE events!!

The Fish and Wildlife Service is a partner with many other agencies in our outreach efforts. Often times a partnership allows an outreach activity or event to take place where it may not have if working alone. A partnership with the Underwood Conservation District in White Salmon, WA allows projects like the Jewett Creek Restoration Project to restore fish habitat and support education projects. Partnering with Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program
and others allows the Information &Education staff to be more involved in diverse outreach opportunities.

Migration Golf collageMigration Golf- Links to the Sea miniature golf course...
Migration Golf--Links to the Sea is an innovative game which depicts the life cycle of salmon. Five holes take the salmon from the hatchery through such perils as terns, gulls, mergansers, and disease. Then on to a working dam where the fish must pass through either the bypass, spillway, or the turbines. On to the ocean where they encounter sea lions, orcas, commercial fisherman and starvation. Back up to the dam and over the fish ladder, and finally dodging fishing boats and sport fishermen to re-enter the hatchery. It is a clever way to teach the young and old about the trials and tribulations that these fish face. This popular activity makes appearances at hatchery open houses, special events and special requests.

Last updated: February 21, 2012
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