Programs & Services
Fish Production Program
Page last updated:
May 24, 2023
May 24, 2023

Philip Starr Administration Building

39015-A 172nd Ave SE 

Auburn, WA 98092


Mon 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tue 8:00am - 5:00pm

Wed 8:00am - 5:00pm

Thu 8:00am - 5:00pm

Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm

Program Overview

The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s two fish production hatcheries, White River and Keta Creek Complex, strive to fertilize over 10 million eggs annually. We achieved this goal with a final green egg estimate of 11.2 million fertilized eggs this year despite a struggle with water supplies during times of drought in 2022. Fish production accomplished work this year with the crucial help and collaboration of Fisheries Harvest Management and Fisheries Habitat staff to support the effort.

White River Spring Chinook Hatchery serves to collect adult Spring Chinook and fertilize eggs to provide fingerlings for on-station release and fry for acclimation ponds to be release in the upper watershed above Mud Mountain Dam. Since 2018, we have incrementally increased the White River Hatchery production by 200,000 fingerlings. To meet this goal, approximately 1,100 adult brood stock fish (500 females and 600 males) are collected for spawning for a realized take of about 1,540,000 eggs of which 660,000 fry are reared on-station to 80 fish per pound during the month of May. The other 880,000 eggs are transferred to WDFW Puyallup Trout Hatchery for hatching and rearing and ultimately those fish are placed into acclimation ponds on tributary rivers above Mud Mountain Dam for release in late May.

Keta Creek Hatchery staff spawns and rears Green River Chum and Coho Salmon returning to the hatchery during the month of November and has also been increasing the yearling Coho program in order to acclimate them to a newly expanded Elliott Bay Net Pen now consisting of a second net pen. This 2022 year brought our second release increase to provide 1 million from 500,000 Coho utilizing the second pen. Every year, staff collects and fertilizes 6,000,000 chum and 2,000,000 Coho eggs for incubation and onsite rearing. About 5 million Chum salmon are released from Keta Creek Hatchery as fed fry. The Coho are raised for a full year and one half and are released as yearlings. An additional 1 million Coho are released from Keta Hatchery into Crisp Creek. Keta Hatchery Staff also help to care for 2 million Fall Chinook at Palmer Hatchery.

Services Provided

White River Hatchery

  • Fertilize 1.54 million Spring Chinook eggs
  • Release 600,000 fingerlings on-site into the White River

Keta Creek Hatchery

  • Produced 5 million Chum and 1.5 million Coho fingerlings
  • Host two Trout derby events for Tribal Members

Eligibility for Services

Outlook for 2023

White River Hatchery

Again we will be receiving grant funds to offset maintenance and repair costs for the hatchery, and we will be looking into ways to improve water supply. Droughts are becoming the normal weather pattern for western Washington and we must do all that we can to protect fish production. We have fixed all of the wells and bolstering groundwater supply will enable us to rear more fingerlings on-station for release, increasing our overall production. Engineering design plans to add six new, 20-foot diameter, circular tanks for holding and rearing additional Spring Chinook adults and juveniles are still underway.

Keta Creek Complex

The Keta Complex with its recent upgrade is performing well from an operational standpoint, but water is essential for its fish production to continue into the future. This year marked a massive chum run year providing outstanding fishing opportunities that we will see again next year. We will continue to address water supply concerns during the coming year working as a team to investigate ways to augment. Keta Hatchery looks forward to hosting another fun-filled Trout Derby in 2023.

2022 Production for the White River Hatchery

2022 Production for the Keta Creek Complex

Hatchery Spawning Production for 2022

*numbers are based upon green egg estimates at the time of spawning

Highlights of 2022

White River Hatchery

  • Released 638,335 Chinook fingerlings at 75 fish per pound on site to the White River and 568,870 at 80 fish per pound into the 28-mile creek acclimation pond, a tributary of the Greenwater River.
  • The big challenge this year was to collect all of the adult Spring Chinook brood stock at the new Army Corps of Engineers Fish Passage Facility. We were successful in obtaining our brood stock, but it was an odd year in that the run was delayed well into late June. Females were bigger this year with a greater proportion of 4-year-olds among the return.
  • WRH transferred 672,568 eyed eggs to Puyallup Trout Hatchery and retained 672,674 eyed eggs for the on-station hatchery release without back-up from the WDFW Minter Hatchery.
  • Fish Health: The released Spring Chinook fingerlings were in excellent condition when they were released in May, 2022 measuring 84 mm in length.
  • White River Hatchery upgrades: A new formalin treatment system was installed in the incubation area and a new container for housing the formalin was purchased for safety, using BIA funding. In order to conserve water, the last 2 of the 6 groundwater wells were replaced and were also purchased with BIA funding. Additional upgrades included a new roof for the hatchery building, field instrumentation to monitor water levels and flows to the rearing and incubation areas. Fleet provided the hatchery with an electric utility vehicle. Finally, a new fish haul truck was designed and tested for coupling with the USACE Fish Passage Facility adult holding tanks.
  • Updates: The Army Corps of Engineers will finish construction of a new Surface Water Intake for the hatchery with a completion date by the end of January, 2023. We continue to work hard with the USACE Operations and Technical teams to refine and stream-line the new Fish Passage Facility to improve bio-sampling and Spring Chinook brood collection activities.

Keta Creek Hatchery

  • Released 5,668,037 fed Chum fry
  • Released 1,001,316 yearling Coho to the Elliott Bay Net Pen
  • Released 913,044 yearling Coho on-station
  • Fed and Released 2 million Fall Chinook fingerlings from Palmer Hatchery
  • Fish Production staff spawned 3,477 Chum pairs and fertilized 8.1 million Chum eggs; and spawned
  • 1,108 Coho pairs for 1.5 million fertilized Coho eggs.
  • Hosted a Trout Derby for kids and family members
  • Assisted with stocking White Lake with Rainbow Trout
  • Keta Creek Hatchery Upgrades: The filtration building for egg incubation was re-roofed. Weather protection covers were installed over the electrical control panels serving the primary and re-use water treatment system areas. Also safety walkways, hand rails and step ladders were installed at the water treatment centers, within the spawn factory and over the in-stream adult holding area. Fleet provided Keta with 3 electric utility vehicles. A more reliable flow meter for the main water supply was installed to better track the water borrowed from Crisp creek to raise fish.
  • Fish Health: All of the chum and coho fish releases were healthy and in good condition. The adult Coho and Chum returning this fall looked healthy and the results of disease sample testing detected no diseases. Fecundity was normal among the female fish.

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