Feeding fish in NFHs can be challenging. The commercial feeds that are available are high energy ones and are formulated for rapid growth, which is not necessarily desired in a conservation hatchery. Questions arise from the hatcheries about feed rates, methods and protocols. The answers they need will enable them to produce competent smolts leaving their hatcheries. Each facility is different considering species, fish rearing densities, and water temperatures, therefore answers to these questions will depend on the needed size at release according to the hatchery program objectives.  Abernathy staff has tested alternative feed rates and shared the best available information with hatchery personnel. In addition, recirculating system flows and their effects on Chinook, steelhead and coho have been tested in relation to feeding, exercise and smolt status.


Peamouth in Abernathy Creek, Washington
Located on the Columbia River, Abernathy FTC provides technical assistance in natural resource conservation to the FWS and its partners primarily in the western U.S.