Skip Navigation

Salmon River Steelhead on the Move

Quinault NFH and Quinault Indian Nation staff return tribal program steelhead from the Service's hatchery to tribal facilities

We have had the Quinault Indian Nation's (Nation) Salmon River steelhead on station for about nine months and it's time for them to go back the tribe's facilities!

Steelhead are quickly transferred from the hauling truck into a Quiunault Indian Nation hatchery raceway. (Credit: Benjamin Gilles/USFWS)

We rear them here for the Nation because low water and high temperatures prevent the tribe's facilities from being able to hold them over the summer. They arrive here as eggs from the tribal facilities in January through March. We care for the fish until the fall rains cool the water enough that the fish can be transferred back to the Nation.

Steelhead are loaded into a hatchery truck that will transport them safely back to a Quinault Indian Nation tribal hatchery. (Credit: Benjamin Gilles/USFWS)

“It’s a challenge to get the fish to their size goal prior to transfer” says Josh Homer, Assistant Hatchery Manager of the Quinault NFH. “But the time was well spent and the attention to detail is the reason this program is so successful." 

Assistant Hatchery Manager Josh Homer gives a thumbs-up for the fish transfer, and the Service-tribal collaboration.. (Credit: Benjamin Gilles/USFWS)

This program wouldn't be successful without all the hard work the Quinalt National Fish Hatchery staff puts into the steelhead program. It's a challenge to get the fish to their size goal prior to transfer. The time spent and the attention to detail by the hatchery staff (Josh Homer, Ed Lemieux, Jane Lemieux, Joe Lemieux, and Jean Lemieux) are the reason this program is successful.

Quinault NFH staff and Quinault Indian Nation TERO employees ensure that tribal steelhead grow and stay healthy while on-site. (Credit: Benjamin Gilles/USFWS)

We have about 417,000 steelhead for both of the Nation's facilities. About 183,000 will be moved today and tomorrow to the Salmon River Hatchery. The remaining 234,000 will be moved to the Lake Quinault Hatchery next week.

Quinault Indian Nation TERO employee Jean Lemieux drives the fish truck transporting steelhead from Quinault NFH to the tribe's hatcheries. (Credit: Benjamin Gilles/USFWS)

More Resources

Watch a video on YouTube of fish being released back to a Quinault Indian Nation hatchery!

Read the Pacific Region's Tumblr blog about the fish transfer.

Learn more about the Quinault Indian Nation's Steelhead Program


QNFH and Salmon River Steelhead--
By the Numbers

# of QIN Steelhead on station at Quinault NFH
Fish moved to the Tribe's Salmon River Hatchery
Fish moved to the Lake Quinault Tribal Hatchery
Amount of time spent on-site at Quinault NFH
Nine months
Last Updated: September 23, 2016
Return to main navigation