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Upper Willamette Hatchery Program
In the Willamette Basin there are four hatchery Chinook programs, one hatchery summer steelhead program, and one rainbow trout program. All of these programs are funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and are operated by ODFW using seven hatchery facilities in the Upper Willamette.
The primary purpose of these hatchery programs is to mitigate for fishery losses associated with the construction and continued operation of the 13 federal dams in the Willamette basin. Hatchery fish provide important societal benefits in ocean and freshwater fisheries.
The Willamette Biological Opinion Reasonable and Prudent Alternative states two primary goals for these hatchery programs:
Ensure the hatchery programs are not reducing the viability of natural-origin spring Chinook and winter steelhead in the Upper Willamette populations.
Appropriately manage hatchery Chinook on the spawning grounds to conserve and rebuild runs of natural-origin spring Chinook above and below the federal dams.