Sweet Home, Ore.— ODFW South Santiam Hatchery staff donated nearly 50 summer steelhead to the Fair Share Gleaners of Sweet Home, a non-profit group dedicated to helping feed hungry people in Linn County,in November. This brings the total number of fish donated by the hatchery this year to 187.
The donated salmon and steelhead are surplus hatchery-reared fish that return to the hatchery from the ocean to complete their life cycle. In the past several years, ODFW has had more fish return than necessary to produce the next generation of hatchery fish.
“Donations across the state are in need,” said Joanne Cox, Coordinator of Fair Share Gleaners. “There are so many people who wouldn’t have the opportunity to get fresh salmon and steelhead if ODFW didn’t donate it to us. The people we serve really appreciate it.”
“It’s a great program that I’m really proud to be involved in,” said Brett Boyd, South Santiam Hatchery Manager. “These fish provide a great source of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids to folks who otherwise might not be able to afford quality meats.”
Last year, ODFW donated almost 50,000 hatchery spring chinook salmon and coho salmon fillets to Oregon food banks around the state. The total number of donations from all ODFW hatcheries for 2007 is expected in January.