The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is still trying to figure out how to restore production at the Rock Creek Hatchery, which was destroyed by a wildfire last September.
When the Archie Creek Fire swept along the North Umpqua River, it burned down all but one of the buildings at Rock Creek, about 20 miles east of Roseburg. About 400,000 juvenile fish were lost, and the facility is still in clean-up mode.
ODFW District Fish Biologist Greg Huchko said other hatcheries are helping pick up the lost capacity, but it’s not the best solution long-term.
“We do want to get Rock Creek Hatchery back on line, it’s just that given what occurred, we may have to be a bit more flexible and it may look a little different than it has historically,” he said.
Huchko said one challenge is that the severely burned watershed might affect river flows and water temperatures at Rock Creek for many years to come.
ODFW said in a press release that it is in discussions with insurance providers and FEMA to see what funding options are available for the rebuild process.