La Grande, Ore. – ODFW today reported the loss of approximately 40 percent of the spring chinook fry at Lookingglass Hatchery near Elgin. Fry are young salmon 2-3 inches in length.
According to Ron Harrod, ODFW acting regional hatchery coordinator, the loss occurred on June 3 after several days of heavy rain caused Lookingglass Creek to flow over the top of the screens at the hatchery intake point. The high, muddy water carried debris that plugged the water system that supplies water to the fry.
While approximately 494,000 spring chinook fry were lost, 60 percent of the hatchery’s spring chinook fry were unaffected, including 60 percent of those from the popular Imnaha River fishery, Harrod said.
“Obviously there will be some impact on adult returns four years from now, but it’s very difficult to predict exactly what the impact will be,” Harrod said. For example, good smolt survival and ocean conditions could help offset the impact of the fry loss.