Thursday, May 23, 2013
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A mechanical failure to the main water supply serving the Clearwater Fish Hatchery will not affect numbers of juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead to be released in the Clearwater Basin in 2013.
No fish mortality occurred as a result of the August 15 incident, but the failure prevents the hatchery from drawing optimum-temperature water from Dworshak Reservoir.
To facilitate repair of the water supply, all juvenile Chinook salmon scheduled for release in April 2013, about 2.5 million, will be transferred to nearby Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, where they will be reared until release. Moving the Chinook will allow the main water supply to be shut off while the damaged intake pipe is repaired.
The hatchery's secondary water supply is not affected and will continue to be used without interruption. Both hatcheries are located near Orofino.
The entire inventory of juvenile steelhead scheduled for release in 2013, about 800,000, will remain at the Clearwater Hatchery and reared on water from the hatchery's secondary water supply. Chinook eggs currently being incubated at Clearwater Hatchery for 2014 releases will also remain on the secondary water supply.
Several agencies are cooperating with Idaho Department of Fish and Game to facilitate repairs and secure the juvenile fish that depend upon this water supply, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Nez Perce Tribe.