Lee Pilon of WDFW collecting Male Chinook milt.
On Monday September 21, WDFW staff with some help from Squaxin NR staff began spawning approximatly 100 female and 100 male Chinook at the Tumwater Falls Hatchery.
Will Henderson sorting male and female chinook for spawning
Joe Peters sorting male and female chinook
An estimated 500,000 eggs were taken and milt from 100 males to Minter Creek Hatchery for fertilization. Eventually these fertilized eggs will return to Tumwater Falls Hatchery as Fry.
All spawned fish and surplus fish went to a food bank.
If you have time go check out the spawning of the Chinook Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays around 8 am to 11 am at the Tumwater Falls Hatchery for the next couple of weeks.
Joe Peters and Will Henderson taking a break from sorting fish
Fall Chinook have begun to arrive at the Tumwater Falls Hatchery. Washington Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) post weekly In-Season Hatchery Escapement Reports online through out the year. Current year escapement updates are available along with past years reports.
Snapshot of a WDFW In-Season Hatchery Escapement Report:
WDFW In-Season Hatchery Escapement Report from September 4th, 2008
Tumwater Falls Hatchery
As of Wednesday September 3rd, Tumwater Falls Hatchery has reported a return of 60 adult Fall Chinook so far. Generally Tumwater Falls Chinook will begin to enter the Deschutes River in late August continuing through October. WDFW staff will begin random spawning of 2500 Chinook (1:1 male to female ratio) in late September through late October for collection of broodstock for continued hatchery production. Peak spawning is mid-October. Spawning occurs about three times a week. Visitors are welcome to watch WDFW staff spawn Chinook at the Tumwater Falls Hatchery.
Squaxin Fall Chinook Fishery Report:
The fishery has slowed way down. Earlier this week Salish Seafoods reported buying about 100 1bs. of Chinook for one night.
Chinook catches from Budd Inlet and Marine Areas 13D as of September 2nd: 9800 at an average of 13.5 lbs per fish.
Chinook have started to show up at the 5th Ave bridge in downtown Olympia. The Oly community is starting to flock to the site to watch the annual return of Fall Chinook. They are jumping around in Capitol Lake. Check out a story by Chester Allen from The Daily Olympian. Nice pictures of Harbor Seals chowing down the returns.
Today I spoke to WDFW Tumwater Falls Hatchery staff and fish are yet to reach the facility. Long time employee Lee of the facility said that the hatchery is preparing to fill the runways with water this week in anticipation of fish showing at the hatchery over the Labor Day weekend. A few fish have started to show a the bottom of the ladder he said.
Checkout the fish if you get a chance. In the up in coming weeks there should be a number of fish up at Tumwater Falls.
As of August 22nd: Squaxin Fall Chinook Fishery has harvested approximately 7,800 Chinook in Budd Inlet and marine area 13D. Reports from this weekend the fishing has begun to slow down.
We only have a couple of weeks left in our Fall Chinook Fishery…but the Coho fishery is set to begin Wednesday September 10th.