The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) currently operates 87 hatchery facilities, the majority dedicated to producing salmon and/or steelhead. There are also 51 tribal hatcheries and 12 federal hatcheries that produce salmon and steelhead for harvest. Hatcheries have operated in Washington State for more than a century, beginning with a facility on the Kalama River in 1895. Since then, state hatcheries have since become an important part of the state’s economy, producing millions of fish for harvest by recreational and commercial fishers. Tagging studies indicate that more than 75% of the salmon caught in Puget Sound originate from hatcheries. The same is true of 90% of the salmon caught in the Columbia River and 88% of the steelhead caught statewide. Fish hatcheries also have become an important tool in restoring and conserving the state’s wild, naturally-spawning salmon and steelhead populations. At some facilities, eggs from wild fish are incubated, reared as fry, then released as smolts to maximize juvenile survival rates. Others hold and breed wild fish through their lifespan to ensure the perpetuation of critically low populations.
- Open: June 8, 2020
- Closing Date: open continuous – The first review of application is on June 22, 2020.