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May 29, 1998
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

Kokanee released early from flooded Sherman Creek Hatchery

KETTLE FALLS -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released 255,000 kokanee into Lake Roosevelt this week to avoid losing any fish to flooding at the Sherman Creek Hatchery.

The six to eight-inch yearling kokanee would have been released in about three weeks from the hatchery, which is located just west of Kettle Falls on the Stevens-Ferry county line.

Heavy rainfall flooded northeast Washington this week. Several washouts on Highway 20 brought heavy sediment into Sherman Creek, which is the hatchery's sole water source. When siphons could not keep up with the sediment build-up in the fish raceways, WDFW hatchery manager Mitch Combs decided it was better to release live fish than lose any.

The lake already contains enough water and forage, Combs noted, so the kokanee soon should provide good fishing.

Although Combs is repairing fences and docks and cleaning up sediment at the hatchery, the flooding caused no major damage.