A Tool for Fish Conservation and Mitigation

Hatcheries have been used across this region to meet mitigation, harvest, and conservation goals since the early 1900s. During the past decade, an average of 9.6 million hatchery fish have been released annually in the upper Columbia River. Of those releases, 2.3 million were spring Chinook and steelhead, species which are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. From these releases, thousands of hatchery adults return to the upper Columbia each year. These returning fish provide fish for people to catch and contribute to the number of fish that spawn each year.

In years of low returns, hatchery fish can help bolster the population and prevent extinction. There still is considerable uncertainty related to the influence of hatchery programs (both past and present) on the genetics and productivity of upper Columbia populations. Hatchery managers and researchers continue to ask and answer questions that will help identify and address risks to listed species.

For more about hatcheries in this region, see the Hatchery Background Summary

View data on Hatcheries statewide. Visit the Salmon Data Hub for the data behind the indicator charts and graphs used throughout this site.