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Hatchery Celebrates 100 Years

Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery will celebrates its 100th anniversary on Sept. 8

On Sept. 8, 2001, the Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery will formally celebrate its 100-year anniversary.

The hatchery staff and the Centennial Committee invites the public to be a guest at the ceremony.

The event will include all day educational activities, formal ceremony beginning at 10:30, viewing of adult Tule fall chinook salmon, hatchery tours, tribal cultural demonstrations, Migration Golf miniature golf course, storytelling and much more.

In addition, the U.S. Postal Service will be on site with a special postmark created just for the centennial. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. one can send mail directly from the hatchery that will bear the official Spring Creek postmark.

Stamps will be available for purchase at the hatchery.

The Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery, located near Underwood, started in 1901 as an egg-hatching substation of the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery.

The hatchery originally was established to compensate for the demise of the commercial salmon fishery from overharvesting in the 19th Century.

Later, the hatchery's role grew as salmon mitigation was need for Bonneville Dam, which was constructed in the late 1930s. Added responsibilities came in the 1950s and 1960s, when the hatchery became a key component of meeting the U.S. government's trust responsibility to provide salmon for Columbia River tribes.

Finally, in the 1970s, the hatchery was further enhanced and expanded to mitigate for native salmon lost due to the construction of the John Day Dam.

Indigenous Tule fall chinook salmon have been raised at the hatchery throughout its history. This is a very important stock to the tribal, commercial and sport fishery in the Columbia Basin and Pacific Ocean.

Through the 100 years of production at Spring Creek, over 1.8 billion eggs have been collected and more than 1 billion fish have been released to contribute to these important fisheries.

The future promises an exciting new restoration role for the hatchery. The indigenous Tule fall chinook salmon have been raised at the hatchery without any major intrusions from outside stocks and could provide an excellent stock for an upriver restoration program on the White salmon River if Condit Dam is removed in the future.

For more information call (509) 538-2242.

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