The ODFW Visitors' Guide
South Santiam Hatchery annually rears and releases in conjunction with other state operated fish hatcheries approximately 1 million spring Chinook and 145,000 summer steelhead for the So. Santiam River. With an additional 40,000 summer steelhead to the North Santiam River. The hatchery annually takes approximately 2.5 million spring Chinook and 1.75 million summer steelhead eggs for the use in the state hatchery system
South Santiam Hatchery Facts
Salmon rear in fresh water for a year to a year and a half before migrating to the ocean. Steelhead rear for a year and a half in fresh water before they migrate. At release salmon juveniles are about 6 inches in length and steelhead 7 inches.
- 14 Burrows rearing ponds and one adult holding pond.
- A staff of four employees.
- An RV site for hatchery host volunteers.
- Yearly release approximately 108,000 pounds of juvenile fish.
- Annual feed approximately 120,000 pounds of fish feed.
- Approximately 11.7 million gallons of water flows through the 14 rearing ponds daily.
- Returning adults placed into hatchery holding pond do not require food during their stay of up to 11 months.
These hatchery fish are not intended to replace wild populations, but are to enhance the numbers of fish available for the enjoyment of all anglers.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask one of our employees or hatchery hosts. You can also stop by the office located by the flag pole.
Spring Chinook adults spend three to four years in the ocean before returning to the hatchery. Averaging 15 pounds and weighing up to 40 pounds, these fish are a prize catch of anglers from the mouth of the Columbia river to the upper reaches of the Willamette river and its tributaries.
Introduced to the Santiam river in the late sixties from Washington State this species of steelhead has gained both in numbers and popularity among anglers in the Willamette River system Adults return to the hatchery two to three years after being released. The average adult weighs 6 pounds but can reach up to 18 pounds.
Chinook salmon females will lay 4000 to 5000 eggs, steelhead 3500 to 4500 eggs.
The eggs are placed in incubation trays where they remain until hatched and the fry are free swimming
Northwest Region | Southwest Region | High Desert Region | Northeast Region