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March 16, 2015
Contact: Cindy LeFleur, (360) 696-6211

Coho fry lost after equipment fails
at Kalama Falls Hatchery

VANCOUVER, Wash. – An estimated 200,000 coho salmon fry died last week after a generator and pump systems failed at the Kalama Falls Hatchery in Cowlitz County.

The salmon fry suffocated March 9 after a generator failed, destroying one pump and damaging two others, which reduced the flow of water to the hatchery’s incubation room, said Cindy Le Fleur, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Le Fleur estimates that approximately two-thirds of the hatchery’s 2014 late coho fry, measuring about an inch long, were lost.

“We don’t have a firm estimate yet, because some of the fish that survived are in a delicate condition and we don’t want to disturb them to count the survivors,” she said. vLe Fleur said approximately 1.1 million fall chinook and 500,000 spring chinook fry have been moved to state hatcheries on the Lewis River as a safeguard, while WDFW personnel work to repair the damaged pumps. v“We hope to have things back in operation at the Kalama Falls Hatchery by the end of this week,” she said.

Built in 1959, the Kalama Falls Hatchery raises spring and fall chinook, late coho and summer and winter steelhead.