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Secret Life of a Salmon – Minter Creek Hatchery

Salmon-video-screen1Minter Creek Hatchery on Washington’s Key Peninsula, West of Seattle, is a vital hatchery in the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife network. The Minter Creek Hatchery raises salmon and trout from egg to spawn to release at its facility off the titular creek, which runs into Carr Inlet. The hatchery incubates 13 million salmon eggs each year. Minter Creek draws many visitors, from elementary school groups to community college students to families who happen to drive past and wonder what goes on at the industrial-looking complex on the creek. The Hatchery workers and volunteers are happy to show visitors around, and many of them are surprised by what they see. One can watch numerous chum and coho salmon running up the creek to spawn, as well as volunteers and hatchery staff harvesting eggs and roe that are processed on a large scale to produce thousands of young salmon.

Hatcheries have operated in Washington State for more than a century, beginning with one hatchery on the Kalama River in 1895. Originally built to compensate for land use decisions that permanently altered large areas of fish-producing habitat, state hatcheries have since become an important part of the state’s economy, releasing millions of fish annually for harvest by recreational and commercial fisheries. Tagging studies indicate that more than 75% of the salmon caught in Puget Sound and 90% of the salmon caught in the Columbia River originate from hatcheries, as do 88% of all steelhead.

A Visit to Minter Creek Hatchery

The Minter Creek Hatchery is located at 12710 124th Ave Ct KPN Gig Harbor WA, 98329
For more infomation visit: Washington Fish and Wildlife online at: wdfw.wa.gov/hatcheries · Phone: (253) 857-5077

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