Chinook Hatchery Returns
No fish trapped
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Adult hatchery Chinook salmon returning to Idaho provide opportunities for sport fisheries and non-tribal and tribal harvest. Returning adult Chinook salmon that swim through the fisheries without being harvested are trapped at hatchery facilities in the Clearwater, Salmon, and Snake drainages. The trapped adult fish are primarily utilized for hatchery production (brood stock), maintaining the cycle of juvenile fish releases that will mature into the next generation of returning adult fish. Fish that are trapped in excess of the brood stock needs may be:
- released back to ongoing fisheries,
- provided to Indian tribes for subsistence needs under harvest sharing agreements,
- distributed to food banks or,
- released to supplement naturally spawning populations.
Idaho Fish and Game manages six Chinook hatchery stocks in Idaho. Brood stock goals - the number of adult fish needed to utilize each of the facility’s capacity to raise fish - are shown for each hatchery stock. The adults used as brood stock at Dworshak, Clearwater, and Rapid River hatcheries are trapped at more than one location.
- Dworshak National Fish Hatchery gets adults trapped at the Dworshak Hatchery trap and the Kooskia Hatchery trap on Clear Creek near Kooskia.
- Clearwater Hatchery gets adults trapped at three satellite facilities: Red River and Crooked River, in the South Fork Clearwater drainage and the Powell trap on the Lochsa River.
- Rapid River Hatchery gets adults trapped in Rapid River and in the Oxbow trap on the Snake River near Hells Canyon Dam.
Fish returning to Dworshak, Clearwater, and Rapid River hatcheries all originate from the same ancestral stock. If broodstock goals are not met at Dworshak, Clearwater or Rapid River hatcheries, Fish and Game may use any available extra adults that returned to another of these three hatcheries to make up for the shortfall.
The fish raised at the McCall Hatchery are from adults trapped in the South Fork Salmon River trap just downstream of Knox Bridge (Warm Lake Road). All the Chinook from McCall Hatchery are released in the South Fork Salmon River. Fish raised at Pahsimeroi Hatchery are from adults trapped in the Pahsimeroi River and all are released on site into the Pahsimeroi River. Fish raised at Sawtooth Hatchery are from adults trapped in the Upper Salmon River a few miles upstream of Stanley and all are released on site into the Upper Salmon River. Because the ancestral brood stocks for all three of these hatcheries are different, the facilities operate independently. If the brood stock goal is not met at these hatcheries Fish and Game does not use adults from another hatchery to make up the difference.
The information listed below is the total number of Chinook salmon that have been trapped as of the date shown. It includes both natural and hatchery produced fish. One of the hatchery best management practices is to collect brood stock from the entire continuum of the run (not just from the first or last fish that are trapped at the hatchery). Therefore, not all fish that are trapped are held for brood stock and the number of fish that have been ponded for brood stock is less than the total number trapped to date.