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Washington state hatcheries remain closed due to COVID-19


September 20, 2020
By Hatchery International staff

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(Photo: WDFW)

With salmon spawning season in full swing at many state hatcheries in the U.S. Washington state, hatchery facilities remain closed statewide due to the continued spread of COVID-19, according to a statement from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Many people visit hatcheries in late summer and early fall to observe spawning activity, or to take advantage of available parking to fish nearby for returning salmon. However, WDFW hatcheries remain closed at this time to ensure the health and safety of hatchery employees, and visitors may find some areas or facilities that are typically open may not be accessible as they have been in past years.

“Our hatcheries are home to some of the Department’s most important work, and hatchery staff provide a vital service to the entire state,” said Eric Kinne, WDFW’s hatchery division manager. “We’re hoping to re-open these facilities as soon as it’s safe to do so, but for now we’re asking the public to please respect any posted closures and be prepared to go elsewhere if an area remains closed.”

Not all hatcheries have gates, but may have temporary barriers or posted signage indicating closed areas. Other facilities, such as portable toilets or parking spots, may also be unavailable.

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WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.