Search News Releases

Search mode:
"and" "or"
Search in:
Recent News Releases
(Last 30 days)
All News Releases
Emergency Fishing Rule Changes
Sport Fishing Rule Changes
Fish and Shellfish Health Advisories & Closures
Marine Biotoxin Bulletin
Beach closures due to red tide and other marine toxins
Local Fish Consumption Advisories
Health advisories due to contaminants
Fish Facts for Healthy Nutrition
Information on mercury, PCBs and other contaminants in fish
News Releases Archive
2019
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2018
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2017
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
MORE ARCHIVES...
 

WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


  Digg it!  StumbleUpon  Reddit

December 17, 2018
Contact: Eric Kinne, 360-902-2418

Chinook fry lost after power outage
at Minter Creek Hatchery

OLYMPIA – As many as 6.2 million chinook salmon fry died last weekend when a windstorm cut power to the Minter Creek Hatchery in Pierce County and the facility's backup generator failed.

The fry were in incubators at the Minter Creek Hatchery operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The pump that supplies water to those incubators stopped working when both the main power and backup generator failed.

WDFW staff tried to start the generator and attempted to provide water to the incubators using other methods, but those efforts were largely unsuccessful, said Eric Kinne, WDFW hatchery division manager.

"This is a devastating loss," Kinne said. "The department is conducting an analysis to determine the root cause of what went wrong so that we can improve procedures at Minter Creek and our other hatcheries to help ensure this doesn't happen again."

An inventory of the fish lost includes:

  • 4.2 million Deschutes fall chinook fry
  • 1.5 million Minter Creek fall chinook fry
  • 507,000 White River spring chinook fry

Kinne said the department was raising the White River spring chinook as part of the state's early efforts to provide more food for southern resident orcas, which are listed as endangered both federally and in Washington. The Deschutes and Minter Creek fall chinook were part of WDFW's ongoing hatchery operations that support state fisheries, not new production for orcas.

Other fish – including roughly 4.2 million chum salmon and 2 million coho salmon – being held at Minter Creek Hatchery survived the power outage.

WDFW is determining whether fish from other facilities can replace some of the fry lost at Minter Creek Hatchery, which is located in Gig Harbor. The chinook were scheduled for release in May or June 2019. Chinook typically return to their natal streams to spawn after three to five years in marine waters.

The department operates 80 hatcheries across Washington and raises approximately 68 million chinook annually.