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
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.