Spring Cr. Hatchery celebrates Saturday

A10: Spring creek fish hatchery

Saturday's 100th anniversary celebration at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery promises something for people of all ages.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. The day will be filled with viewing of adult tule fall chinook salmon, hatchery tours, educational, natural, cultural, and historical displays and demonstrations. The Yakama Nation will be providing cultural dancing and demonstrations in the afternoon. They will also be providing a concession featuring Indian tacos and Indian fry bread, in addition to a salmon-bake. Visitors can test their golf skills in navigating a salmon to ocean and back.

Due to the Clackamas Station being an unsuitable site for egg collection, the U.S. Fish Commission began to look for new areas to collect eggs. In the fall of 1896, the streams on both sides of the Columbia River, between Viento and Celilo Falls, were surveyed for the possible establishment of auxiliary substations for taking and eyeing salmon eggs. The White Salmon River showed good prospect. The White Salmon River historically contained both spring and fall chinook salmon runs. The following fall, two large racks and a downstream trap were constructed at the mouth of the Big White Salmon River and 3,415,000 eggs were secured and transported by boat to a site on the Little White Salmon River where other salmon eggs were being collected and incubated.

It was in 1901 that Dennis Winn, then stationed at the Little White Salmon Hatchery, delivered the first fall chinook eggs to Spring Creek, taken from the White Salmon River by rowboat. At that time there were no roads or railroads -- the only access to Spring Creek area was by Columbia River steamers. By 1919, the forms were set for the first known residence on site, called the cottage. State Route 14 was not completed until 1920.

In 1934, Congress passed the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act that required federal agencies to consider fish losses resulting from water development projects. The Mitchell Act, passed in 1938, authorized funding to preserve and protect Columbia River Basin salmon.

The first major changes to the Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery wouldn't be seen until the completion of Bonneville Dam in 1938. The pool of water created behind the dam began to rise and cause flooding problems for the hatchery. In 1941, U.S. Corps of Engineers Bonneville Dam engineers reestablished the station by moving the hatchery buildings, constructing a new fish ladder and building new concrete circular ponds. It was during this time that the hatchery became known as the Underwood Station.

The Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery was redesigned and rebuilt by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1972, an expansion designed to partially compensate for the loss of fall chinook spawning grounds caused by dam construction elsewhere along the Columbia River.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners