Institutional Recommendation 7

Tribal Hatchery Management

Transfer certain federally funded hatcheries to tribal control.

Current Status

Hatchery programs produce fish for a number of purposes: harvest augmentation, supplementation, conservation/recovery and fish reintroduction. In 1995 when the initial the Spirit of the Salmon Plan was published, all hatcheries in the Columbia Basin were managed by state or federal agencies, with the four tribes having little or no influence on decisions regarding program operations. While the situation has not changed for the hatchery programs operated below Bonneville Dam, of the 42 hatcheries that produce anadromous fish in the interior basin, the tribes are now primary managers of 6 of them (Table 1), and 2 other hatcheries operate with a combination of tribal and federal management staff (Table 2). The remaining 34 hatcheries continue to be operated by state or federal agencies, although operational plans (broodstock management and production and release methodologies) for each facility are developed with significant input from the tribes (Table 3). For details, see Appendix C 2008-2017 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement Production Tables, revised May 31, 2012.

Table 1: Tribally Managed Hatcheries

Hatchery Subbasin Management Agency
Parkdale FH Hood R Warm Springs Tribe
Levi George (Cle Elum) FH Yakima R Yakama Nation
Prosser FH Yakima R Yakama Nation
Klickitat FH Klickitat R Yakama Nation
Nez Perce Tribal FH Clearwater R Nez Perce Tribe
Kooskia NFH Clearwater R Nez Perce Tribe

Note: The Chief Joseph FH (Columbia River mainstem) was recently completed and is operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. The Crystal Springs FH to be operated by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes for supplementation of the upper Salmon River is currently under construction.

Table 2: Shared Management Hatcheries

Hatchery Subbasin Management Agency
Warm Springs NFH Deschutes R Warm Springs & USFWS
Dworshak NFH Clearwater R Nez Perce & USFWS


Table 3: Hatcheries with Tribal Advisory Input

Hatchery Subbasin Management Agency
Eagle Creek NFH Clackamas R USFWS
Carson NFH Wind R USFWS
Willard NFH Little White Salmon R USFWS
Little White Salmon NFH Deschutes R USFWS
Spring Creek NFH Columbia mainstem USFWS
Leavenworth NFH Yakima R USFWS
Entiat NFH Entiat R USFWS
Winthrop NFH Methow R USFWS
Hagerman NFH Snake R mainstem USFWS
Bonneville FH Columbia mainstem ODFW
Cascade FH Columbia mainstem ODFW
Irrigon FH Columbia mainstem ODFW
Oxbow FH Columbia mainstem ODFW
Umatilla FH Columbia mainstem ODFW
Oak Springs FH Deschutes R ODFW
Round Butte FH Deschutes R ODFW
Wallowa FH Grande Ronde ODFW
Lookingglass FH Grande Ronde R ODFW
Skamania FH Washougal R WDFW
Washougal FH Washougal R WDFW
Priest Rapids FH Columbia mainstem WDFW
Ringold FH Columbia mainstem WDFW
Eastbank FH Columbia mainstem WDFW
Wells FH Columbia mainstem WDFW
Methow FH Methow R WDFW
Lyons Ferry FH Columbia mainstem WDFW
Tucannon FH Tucannon R WDFW
Clearwater FH Clearwater R IDFG
Rapid River FH Salmon R IDFG
Pahsimeroi FH Salmon R IDFG
Sawtooth FH Salmon R IDFG
McCall FH Payette R IDFG
Oxbow FH Snake R mainstem IDFG
Magic Valley FH Snake R mainstem IDFG
Niagara Springs FH Snake R mainstem IDFG

Note: The Springfield FH to be operated by IDFG to supplement the Red Fish Lake sockeye population is currently under construction.

Mitchell Act funding is responsible for approximately one-third of the fish produced in hatcheries for release above Bonneville Dam (as shown below). However, funding for the Act has remained stagnant, compromising production levels and operation and maintenance needs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and various hydroelectric power companies are responsible for the bulk of the remainder. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to meet John Day Mitigation obligations, including construction of new facilities. The 2008 Columbia Basin Accords included a tribal project to reprogram existing John Day Mitigation production to upstream areas. New tribal hatcheries have also been proposed to support tribal coho reintroduction programs in the Yakima and Wenatchee rivers; spring chinook supplementation programs in the Walla Walla, Grande Ronde and Imnaha rivers; and coho and fall chinook mitigation programs in the Klickitat River. The tribes await funding for these facilities.

Production (in millions) of salmon and steelhead juveniles for stocking above Bonneville Dam by funding agency

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 12.17.37 PM

See Glossary for acronyms. Source: Appendix C. 2008-2017 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement Production Tables, revised May 31, 2012.


Appropriate management of hatchery production is a key component to realizing conservation and mitigation objectives, including sustainable tribal harvest. While debate continues on the role of hatchery production in the future sustainability of fish runs, judicious integration of hatchery and naturally spawning populations remains an integral part of the tribal approach to restoring fish runs. Direct tribal management of facilities provides greater opportunity to achieve this integration consistent with the overall vision of restoration.

New or Modified Actions

  • Identify additional hatchery facilities to transfer to the tribes.
  • Ensure adequate funding for existing hatchery programs operated consistent with tribal vision.
  • Secure funding for construction and operation of the new tribal hatcheries that have been proposed.
  • Develop regional strategy to increase Mitchell Act funding.
  • Work with U.S.Army Corps of Engineers to ensure appropriate implementation of John Day Mitigation Project.
  • Complete John Day mitigation reprogramming.
Back to Top Back to Top