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Oregon wildfire forces early release of hatchery salmon

A wildfire raging in the Columbia River Gorge has forced Oregon fisheries managers to release thousands of hatchery salmon months early into the Columbia River to reduce demands on water and equipment.

September 6, 2017  By Liza Mayer

Wildfire as seen from near Stevenson All hatchery workers are safe

The hatchery workers released about 600,000 tule fall Chinook salmon Tuesday and four ponds of fall Chinook salmon Monday night, reported the Canadian Press, quoting sources from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.


The three fish hatchery facilities are located in Cascade Locks. They are rearing about six million fish, mostly coho and Chinook salmon. They were evacuated over Labor Day weekend and the facilities have been used as a firefighting and staging area, said the report. Supplies at the hatcheries, including water and power, are helping wildfire efforts.

Officials say all hatchery workers are safe and no structures have been damaged.


As of Tuesday, the US Coast Guard has also closed the Columbia River to all vessel traffic east of Portland, Oregon, because of the wildfire believed to be caused by fireworks.

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