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Upper Columbia River hatcheries

Hatcheries are an important tool for fish conservation and mitigation

Hatchery supplementation has been used across the upper Columbia 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. 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 better identify and address risks to listed species.

Indicator data


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Visit How we measure for background about this data, and our Salmon Data Portal for original source data behind the indicator charts and graphs used throughout this site.