Idaho Fish Hatcheries
1.  Kootenai Hatchery
2. Sandpoint Hatchery 

3. Clark Fork Hatchery

4. Cabinet Gorge Hatchery

5. Mullan Hatchery

6. Clearwater Hatchery

7. Powell Trap

8. Red River Trap

9. Crooked River Trap

10. Rapid River Hatchery

11. Oxbow Hatchery

12. McCall Hatchery

13. South Fork Trap

14. Pahsimeroi Hatchery

15. Henrys Lake Hatchery

16. Sawtooth Hatchery

17. East Fork Trap

18. Mackay Hatchery

19. Ashton Hatchery

20. Eagle Hatchery
21. Nampa Hatchery
22. Hayspur Hatchery

23. Hagerman Hatchery

24. Niagara Springs Hatchery

25. American Falls Hatchery

26. Magic Valley Hatchery

27. Grace Hatchery 
Look at a map showing Dam locations.

Try a virtual tour of a working Idaho fish hatchery:

* American Falls
* McCall

* Niagara Springs

* Rapid River

* Sawtooth

Go visit Fish & Game's hatchery web site.

VISIT Fish & Game's fish research site.

Fish hatcheries have been present in Idaho for over 60 years. In 1934 the State of Idaho and the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the first rainbow trout rearing facility in American Falls. The purpose of the facility was to improve the availability of the fish for sportsmen, while also helping preserve native lineages.

In 1955 Idaho Power Company began planning construction of the Hells Canyon Dam Complex on the Snake River. Out of concern for Idaho's wild anadromous salmon and trout species, the Federal Regulatory Commission required that Idaho Power Company compensate for potential population losses resulting from the new hydroelectric facilities. In conjunction with the construction of the Complex (consisting of Oxbow, Brownlee and Hells Canyon dams) Idaho Power constructed four facilities including Rapid River Hatchery (1964) and Niagara Springs Hatchery (1966).  Initially, the Niagara facility was used to relocate some of the Snake River steelhead run into the Salmon River. Idaho Power currently provides funding for the operation and maintenance of the hatcheries.

In 1976 Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act and the Lower Snake River Fish and Wildlife Compensation Plan was created. The plan required the construction of fish hatcheries whose operation was intended to help offset the loss of Idaho's native salmon and trout species. Fish populations were declining - apparently as a result of construction of four dams and locks on the lower Snake River by the Bonneville Power Administration (Ice Harbor, Little Goose, Lower Granite and Lower Monumental were all built between 1962 and 1976).

In response to the Compensation Plan the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has built over 20  facilities such as the McCall Hatchery (1980) and the Sawtooth Hatchery (1984). To date, the United States Federal Government has provided funding for the construction and operation of over 20 trout and salmon hatcheries. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is in the process of repaying this loan out of hydroelectric power revenues. In addition, each year they provide revenue to continue hatchery operations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the primary agency responsible for oversight of the hatchery program. They reco

ver and distribute the BPA monies.

The Idaho Department of  Fish and Game is the agency responsible for staffing, operating and maintaining the majority of Idaho's salmon and trout hatcheries.
Under Title 36 of the Idaho Code the mission of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's fish hatcheries is to:
  • Recognize the value of natural fish.
  • Provide quality fish for anglers.
  • Continue quality fish management.
  • Maintain and enhance Idaho's fisheries resources.
  • Promote Department programs.
These goals guide hatchery activities and research. As an example consider a brief summary of hatchery activities in 1998:

* Resident fish hatcheries reared and stocked nearly 23 million fish weighing 1.2 million pounds .
* More than 2,500 stocking trips were made to plant fish in over 500 waters in the state .

* Three captive broodstocks were maintained and spawned at the resident hatcheries producing over 18 million eggs for various resident programs. These stocks include Kamloop and Hayspur rainbow trout maintained at Hayspur Hatchery; and Westslope cutthroat trout at the Clark Fork Fish Hatchery.

* Cabinet Gorge Hatchery produced 9.9 million kokanee averaging 1.94 inches in length using a seven month growing season.

* American Falls Fish Hatchery used the entire 12 months of fish production and produced an average 5.1 inch rainbow trout.

Look at a statistical summary of Idaho Department of Fish and Game resident fish hatcheries for 01/01/98 - 12/31/98.
Click below to look at photographs showing an overview of the fish hatchery process.
1- Adults
2 - Fish Trap

3 - Inoculation

4 - Sorting

5 - Flushing

6a - Harvesting Eggs

6b - Temperature Check

7 - Adding Milt

8 - Fertilization

9 - Egg Counting/Sorting
10 - Incubator Tray
11 - Sac Fry
12 - Smolt

13 - Raceway

14 - Adipose Fin

15a - Pit Tag 1

15b - Pit Tag 2

16 - Trucking

17 - Barging

Written and compiled by Jacqueline Harvey 1999.
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