Kooskia National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region

Kooskia National Fish Hatchery aerial view

Image with text that reads Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

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.
  • • The CDC recommends all individuals wear a mask indoors in public in areas of substantial or high transmission. Recognizing that most of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories and to best protect visitors and our staff, we've implemented a nationwide mask requirement. Masks are now required inside all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service buildings, regardless of vaccination status or location. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands.
  • 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.

  • Kooskia National Fish Hatchery is currently closed to the public.
    Please call
    208-926-4272 for information.

Invasive Species Alert!


Destroy! Don’t Dump! Invasive zebra mussels were recently found in "moss balls,” an aquarium plant product sold at aquarium and pet supply stores.

Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species in North America.

If you have moss balls in your aquarium, follow these Disposal Instructions to keep our waterways safe.


Hatchery History

Kooskia National Fish Hatchery, authorized by Congress in August 1961, was established to rear spring chinook salmon for release into the Clearwater River basin. The hatchery is located 1.5 miles southeast of Kooskia, Idaho near the confluence of Clear Creek and the Middle Fork Clearwater River. Kooskia National Fish Hatchery is managed and operated by the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.Construction of the hatchery was started in 1966.  Fish production, begun in 1969, established runs of adult spring chinook salmon returning to Clear Creek. Smolts released from the hatchery return 2-3 years later as 7-20 pound adults.

In 2007, the certification of the Snake River Basin Adjudication settlement included transfer of hatchery management to the Nez Perce Tribe, who are responsible for the day-to-day fish production, supporting the goal to raise and release up to 600,000 juvenile spring Chinook salmon annually.


Spring Chinook Salmon Production

Adult salmon are trapped at Kooskia from May through August, and transported to Dworshak hatchery for spawning. Eyed eggs are returned to Kooskia in the fall, where they are incubated, hatched and reared. They are released 18 months later into Clear Creek, to migrate 540 miles past 8 dams to the Pacific Ocean. Salmon smolts released at the hatchery return 2-3 years later as adult fish.

How to get to the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery

Kooskia National Fish Hatchery is located in Idaho County. The site lies approximately 3 miles east of the town of Kooskia, Idaho and is adjacent to Clear Creek which flows into the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River.

Directions: At Kooskia, Idaho take either bridge exit off Highway 12, follow posted signs to the main hatchery entrance. Hatchery hours are daily 7:30am to 4pm. Closed major holidays. Our hatchery telephone number is (208) 926-4272.

Visit our driving directions page to map your route using Google™ Maps.

Last updated: August 20, 2021
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