Over 1 million people visit Bonneville Fish Hatchery each year. The Hatchery was built in 1909 and is operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The hatchery raises 8 million Fall Chinook, 1.2 million Coho, 200,000 Summer Steelhead, and 60,000 Winter Steelhead for sport, commercial and tribal fisheries in the lower Columbia River and the northern Oregon Coast. Adult salmon begin arriving at the hatchery in September and are then sorted through before spawning begins. Spawning begins during the last week in October and continues until the beginning of December.
When at the Hatchery, you can take a self-guided tour through the Spawning Room, Adult Fish Holding Ponds, Rearing Ponds, Rainbow Trout Ponds, Outdoor Sturgeon Ponds, Sturgeon Underwater Viewing Center and the Gift Shop. Please take time to visit Herman the Sturgeon in the Underwater Viewing Center. Herman is 10 feet long, 425 pounds and over 65 years old!
It is FREE to visit the Hatchery. However, you can spend 25 cents to purchase a handful of fish food. It's fun for people of all ages to feed the fish!
The Hatchery is open daily at 7:30 a.m. and the viewing ponds are open all year. However, if you want to see adult fall chinook or coho salmon spawning, you need to visit in October or November. The Hatchery is CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
There are also at least 40 different species of birds to view at Bonneville Fish Hatchery.
Picnic tables are set up on the Hatchery grounds, which are meticulously maintained. It is a wonderful spot for a picnic on a warm, sunny day.
- I-84,at exit 40, Cascade Locks (approximately 40 miles east of Portland, OR)