Talk to anyone who catches salmon in the Pacific Northwest, and they’ll have an opinion on fish hatcheries. They’re good, they’re bad; they’re essential, they’re ruining the fishery; they need to make more, they need to make less… Everyone has a thought on the matter, but not a lot of people know the facts.
So, we went out to visit the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish Hatcheries in the Columbia Gorge to find out what exactly they do, how, and why they do it! The following videos highlight work at the Little White Salmon, Spring Creek and Carson facilities, but they all operate in generally the same fashion. The hatcheries we visited focused on chinook salmon - coho, steelhead and trout are the responsibility of other hatcheries including both state and tribal.
If you’ve ever wanted to know where your (hatchery) spring chinook come from or why on Earth do they make Tule salmon, these are the videos for you!