Quinault Hatcheries Program
The Quinault Hatcheries Program is responsible for developing science based policy plans, and procedures to protect and expand the fisheries of the Quinault Indian Nation. The overall goal of the hatcheries are to aid in the restoration and enhancement of Quinault Indian Nation fisheries and to produce fish to create and sustain fish populations in the waters of the Nation to rebuild diminished runs.
We work hard in our efforts to change the course of decreasing population, so that a strong and thriving population can exist again on the Quinault waterways. This work includes operating two hatcheries, the Lake Quinault Hatchery (Pen Rearing) which provides fish for the Quinault River and the Salmon River Fish Culture Facility which provides fish for the Queets River system.
Tribal hatcheries incubate and rear salmon to supplement fish populations in the rivers while ongoing studies investigate potential causes for the decline in abundance of these fish. Two of the main reasons why the population has declined is due to degradation of habitat and overfishing.
Quinault Hatcheries Program Recent History
Historically, it’s been difficult for the Quinault Hatcheries Program to collect enough broodstock to meet the fall annual production goals. Meanwhile, it was difficult for the Quinault Indian Nation to rear their winter steelhead during the summer due to warm water and pathogen issues. The solution to this problem was found to be following research and a hatchery review recommendation to maximize fall Chinook survivability by increasing use of the Nation’s net pen system. In 2012 the Quinault Hatcheries Program was transferred to the Quinault Division of Natural Resources Fisheries Department. Summer rearing of the Nation’s winter steelhead program, meanwhile, was transferred to the Quinault National Fish Hatchery, where cooler Cook Creek water makes raising young steelhead prior to their release in Lake Quinault easier.
Partnering to raise healthy fish is an ongoing commitment for these two hatcheries. In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased six nets to assist the Nation in replacing the 35-year-old net pen system. Studies demonstrated that moving to the new, larger pens lowered fall Chinook rearing densities, and reduced predation by birds, mammals, and other fish. The new nets also have mesh small enough to allow easy transfer of the fish directly from incubators into the net pens. The upgrade reinforces efforts to pool resources and sustain hatchery programs vital to the Quinault Indian Nation and the local economy.
Fisheries Senior Scientist, Larry Gilbertson » 360.276.8215 x7261
Fisheries Operations Manager, Tyler Jurasin » 360.276.8215 x7472
Salmon River Hatchery Manager, William Johnstone » 360.276.8215 x7330
Lake Quinault Hatchery Manager, Marty Figg » 360.276.8215 x7330
Additional Quinault Hatcheries Program Resources: