The proposed budget recently released by the state House of Representatives includes $7.3 million towards renovating the current Deschutes River hatchery in Tumwater and creating the Deschutes Watershed Center.
This new facility on the Deschutes River in Tuwater wouldn’t replace the current hatchery at the waterfall park in Tumwater, but would supplement it. The current program on the Deschutes is piecemeal. There isn’t enough room to rear the fish that will eventually be released. To have a successful program, everything from spawning to rearing and release, needs to be in the same place.
By keeping all aspects of the hatchery in one facility, chances of spreading fish diseases decrease and chances of salmon survival increases. Even though the number of fish raised and released won’t increase from around 3.8 million annually, the number of chinook returning every year will due to better survival.
The Deschutes River incubation and rearing facility will enhance existing operations at Tumwater Falls Park and create a new facility at upstream Pioneer Park, improving water quality and creating new opportunities for community involvement.
New Facilities Overview
Tumwater Falls Park
• Adult collection and holding facilities (enhanced)
• Egg collection facilities (enhanced)
• Fingerling rearing program (enhanced)
• Visitor facilities (enhanced)
• Effluent treatment facilities (new)
• River pump station (enhanced)
• Fry/fingerling rearing program
• Salmon yearling program
• Recreational fishing program
• Educational/community use facilities
• Integrate with other Deschutes River watershed activities
• Deschutes River trailhead
The Deschutes River hatchery by the numbers
- Each year, 3.8 million chinook are released.
- More than 30 percent of the fish produced at the Deschutes hatchery are caught in sport fisheries in Puget Sound. A majority of the fish caught by sport fishermen are caught in Puget Sound between Everett and Tacoma.
- More than 10,000 people visit the hatchery every month.
- Harvest of Deschutes hatchery chinook produces $720,000 of economic activity each year.