Fires Take A Toll On ODFW Hatcheries

Sep 18, 2020

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says several of its fish hatcheries were damaged by wildfires this month.

The Rock Creek Hatchery near Glide was destroyed by the Archie Creek Fire.
Credit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The agency says no staff members were injured, but hundreds of thousands of juvenile fish are suspected to have died. Hatchery managers also released more than a million young fish as a last-ditch attempt to keep them alive as facilities lost power and the ability to receive fresh water.

The Rock Creek Hatchery near Glide sustained the most damage, with nearly every building on site destroyed by the Archie Creek Fire.

In southern Oregon, several buildings were destroyed at the Klamath Hatchery as a result of the Two Four Two Fire.

Along the McKenzie River east of Springfield, the Leaburg Hatchery came through the Holiday Farm Fire relatively unscathed.

“The damage to Leaburg was pretty minor," said ODFW spokesperson Michelle Dennehy. "We lost a truck. We did have to release fish [there], but many of these fish are expected to survive, because they are yearlings.”

Two hatcheries along the North Santiam River, along with a hatchery near Estacada, experienced very little damage, despite being very close to two wildfires in the area.

In Otis, the Salmon Creek Hatchery was evacuated due to the Echo Mountain Complex Fire, but the facility was not damaged.

ODFW said seven other hatcheries were under Level 1 or Level 2 evacuation notices this month.