the film
Ecology and salmon related articles

Oxbow Hatchery Closing
to Visitors for Renovation

by Staff
La Grande Observer, May 28, 2022

Oxbow Hatchery employee Rosalie Bauer, right, a technician from Hailey, loads fish into a net held by a representative from the Nez Perce tribe. These fish will be distributed among tribal members for food. OXBOW -- Idaho Power Company's Oxbow Fish Hatchery in Hells Canyon will be closed to the public beginning June 1 to allow workers to upgrade the hatchery's water intake system.

Pending approval from federal regulators, an extensive remodel and expansion of the hatchery itself will begin later this summer, extending the facility's closure through the summer of 2024, according to the Boise company.

Fish spawning and egg collection at the hatchery will continue during construction. The small campsite adjacent to the hatchery will be closed, but the hatchery work will not impact Copperfield Campground or other facilities in the area.Visitors should expect periods of increased construction traffic.

The hatchery, at the mouth of Pine Creek downstream from the Oxbow Dam powerhouse, the hatchery, which was built in 1961, is a holding and spawning facility for adult steelhead migrating up the Snake River, above its confluence with the Salmon River. Oxbow was the first hatchery Idaho Power built as part of its hatchery mitigation program.

Adult steelhead are collected in a trap at Hells Canyon Dam and held to maturity at Oxbow Hatchery where they are artificially spawned by hatchery staff. More than 1 million eggs are fertilized and go through their first stages of development here.

Eventually, the eggs are delivered to Niagara Springs Hatchery south of Wendell, Idaho, to hatch and grow for approximately 11 months before they are ready for release into the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam.

Idaho Power also traps adult spring chinook salmon from the Snake River for use as broodstock at Rapid River Hatchery near Riggins, Idaho. Fish are trapped at Hells Canyon Dam, temporarily held at Oxbow Hatchery and then transferred to Rapid River Hatchery.

Oxbow Hatchery is owned and financed by Idaho Power and operated and staffed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. For additional information about Idaho Power's hatchery programs, visit

Oxbow Hatchery Closing to Visitors for Renovation
La Grande Observer, May 28, 2022

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