Welcome to Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery! We raise 12.5 million young Tule Fall Chinook salmon each year, making a significant contribution to the ocean harvest and an extremely popular sport fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River. We also mitigate fishery losses due to hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. Furthermore, we belong to a Complex of hatcheries that partners with Tribes to contribute over 22.5 million salmon per year to mitigate fishery losses, restore fish populations, and provide Tribes with an important cultural resource - now that's a lot of fish!
Adult Fish Returns

75,000 adult tule fall Chinook salmon returned to the hatchery as of October 2, 2023


About Us

Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery is located at river mile 167 on the Columbia River in Underwood, Washington. It is known as one of the largest anadromous fish production facilities in the Columbia River Basin. The hatchery is a mitigation facility, meaning we make up for habitat losses associated with hydro-electric projects on the Columbia River. The hatchery is a water conservation facility. Water is reused through a complex series of biological filters that enhance water quality while minimizing the need for a large fresh water supply. The hatchery is mechanically complex and requires the use of numerous pumps, filters, and motor control centers to enhance operations. 

What We Do

Tule Fall Chinook salmon are native to the lower Columbia River and its tributaries downstream of The Dalles Dam. This is the native stock inhabiting the White Salmon River located just upstream of the hatchery. 

The broodstock broodstock
The reproductively mature adults in a population that breed (or spawn) and produce more individuals (offspring or progeny).

Learn more about broodstock
objective at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery is to collect and spawn 8,000 adults annually, with an on-station release of approximately 12.5 smolts into the Columbia River each spring.

Our Organization

Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.

Our Species

Tule Fall Chinook salmon are native to this part of the Columbia River. They are the early fall Chinook salmon, returning to the hatchery in late August through September. 

Because of the migration pattern of the adult fish, this stock is a major contributor to the commercial, tribal, and recreational harvest along the Washington coast and in the Columbia River. 

Visit Us

Where We're Located

Spring Creek is located about 65 miles east of Portland, OR. You can reach the hatchery by traveling east on I-84 about 64 miles to Hood River, OR. Take exit 64 and cross the Hood River/White Salmon toll bridge ($2.00 toll each way). Turn left onto State Highway 14 and travel about 3 miles. You will cross over the White Salmon River. The hatchery will be on your left at about mile marker 61.

When To See The Fish 

Salmon return to their birthplace at varying times of the year, depending on species. At Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery that is the end of August. We open our fish ladder the last week of August, adults begin entering the hatchery right away. We have adults on station for viewing through September. Juvenile salmon are in the outdoor raceways January - April.

Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National fish hatcheries provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love. National fish hatcheries partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of both urban and rural communities to make a lasting difference. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved!

We enjoy having volunteers at our hatchery! We offer both daily and long-term opportunities. The hatcheries provide local individuals the opportunity to volunteer by assisting hatchery staff with special events such as our Annual Open House or Kid's Fishing Day, fish production, and light maintenance activities. All volunteers compliment our hatchery programs and offer valuable support. To volunteer, contact cheri_anderson@fws.gov, or call Cheri at (509) 493-1730.

Location and Contact Information