Today, we went to a fish hatchery on the Salmon River, near Lincoln City, Oregon. As you come over the Coastal Range, the road winds along the Salmon River. We turned off and visited the fish hatchery. There are many hatcheries in Oregon, and we love to visit them, but realized we had never taken Patsy to see one.
First, we visited the long, rectangular “ponds” where they put the little fingerlings to grow them large enough to release into the river. Most of the tanks were empty. A ranger told us that they are much busier in the fall when the adult fish are spawning and the workers are collecting eggs. This tank had thousands of baby salmon in it. If you look carefully, you can see a tiny fish jumping in the second stream of water from the right. These fish are great jumpers and we were greatly entertained watching them vainly try to jump over the “waterfall” at the end of the tank.
After that, we walked over to the river itself and gazed down on the spot where they fenced the river off. Right now, no salmon are running, but when they are, the fence will divert at least part of them into the fish ladder where they jump up to the holding area and their eggs can be harvested by the workers. They fertilize the eggs and then raise many more baby fish, which will then be released into the wild, keeping the salmon population up.
It was a fun stop for all of us.