While exploring the Soos Creek Natural Area and current streamside restoration efforts (featured in yesterday's post), we stopped by the hatchery to see what was happening and were treated to a personal tour of facilities by hatchery staff. Very fun. As it turns out, the Soos Creek Hatchery facility is among the oldest in the state having begun operation in 1901. The following photo shows the facility as it was back then.
The facility today looks much the same as it did in 1950.
The current hatchery is noted by Washington Department of Fish & Wildife for it's high survival rates and now raises and releases fall Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and both Winter and Summer run Steelhead. Saturday we saw steelhead at different stages in their growth cycle from eggs now maturing (note the eyes already showing on the eggs):
Both of the above photos were taken inside the building where initial growth occurs. Eventually, these little guys are moved to larger environs outside until they are ready for release. Some of the steelhead are transferred for eventual release in the Green River at facilities at Palmer and Icy Creek.
And then Pat showed us a couple of small trout rearing tanks. Nothing small about these trout, nearly lunkers already. The inside scoop is that these trout will be released into Lake Morton near the end of this month. Get your fishing poles ready.