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Oregon's hatcheries: charting a sustainable future

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Hatcheries operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provide social, economic, and cultural benefits to Oregonians by sustaining sport, commercial, and tribal fishing opportunities.

Hatcheries can also help support imperiled fish populations and re-establish native fish in areas where populations have been lost.

Download the presentation (pdf)

Hot Topics

Aug. 2024 Webinars.

Kickoff meeting June 27: View the meeting on YouTube. Check back later for a posting of the Q and A from the meeting.

Did you know?
Over 70 percent of salmon and steelhead harvested in Oregon come from a hatchery.
Fish Hatcheries Operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
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2022 Hatchery Releases
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Hatcheries at-a-glance

ODFW operates 33 hatcheries:

  • 14 state-owned.
  • 18 federally-owned.
  • 1 Portland General Electric facility.

These hatcheries produce about 35 million salmon and steelhead and about five million trout annually for release into Oregon rivers and lakes. Some of these releases rely on additional facilities operated by tribes, the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) and other local entities.

What is ODFW doing?

ODFW is undertaking a thorough review of Oregon’s 33 hatcheries, with a focus on the 14 state-owned fish hatcheries.  It was directed by the 2023 Oregon Legislature and will be conducted by third-party contractors.

The contractors will assess:

  • operations
  • sustainability
  • climate vulnerability
  • infrastructure
  • economic costs/benefits

The third-party review and complementary assessments by ODFW staff will be shared with the public to inform discussions about the best path forward for a sustainable hatchery system that:

  • continues to support rural and underserved communities,
  • provides fishing opportunities, 
  • is a good neighbor to wild fish.

ODFW will also work with the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon to ensure their perspectives are heard and incorporated.

Why does this matter?

Native fish and fishing are part of Oregon’s heritage, but that future is becoming increasingly uncertain.


Because wild and hatchery fish are being negatively impacted by a changing climate and ocean.

Aging hatchery infrastructure and increasing costs are also challenging Oregon’s hatchery system to meet fishery and conservation goals. These challenges will increase in the future.

By looking ahead, ODFW is taking proactive steps to meet those challenges. This hatchery system review will point to how we can adapt hatchery management and invest for the future of Oregon’s hatchery fisheries.

Anticipated timeline

Phase 1: Information development
Winter 2023-Spring 2024

  • Contract with third parties for economic, infrastructure, and biological assessments.
  • Complete ODFW’s vulnerability assessments.
  • Develop informational material for public engagement.

Phase 2: Public involvement
Summer 2024

ODFW wants to hear from all interested parties.

We will use a range of forums to share information gathered in Phase 1. In Phase 2, we’ll talk about what it means and collectively discuss the best path forward for this state hatchery system. Willamette Partnership, a non-profit organization that designs and facilitates collaborative processes, will assist ODFW in Phase 2.

ODFW held a kickoff meeting for Phase 2 in the Commission Room at ODFW Headquarters on June 27. You can view the meeting on YouTube.

Webinars are scheduled for August 1, 8, and 15 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Another public meeting (in person and virtual) meeting will be held in late August, date TBD.

Phase 3: Roll-up
Winter 2024-25

  • Develop final report and recommendations.
  • Report to the State Legislature recommendations for the future of Oregon's state-owned hatcheries.

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