Posted by: Jack | September 29, 2006

Salmon Harvesting at Tumwater Falls Hatchery

I decided to check out this process early this morning as I had heard it was quite interesting. I was well informed about how the fish are harvested but seeing it in person was still a bit of a shock. Click play for a short example.

Mild violence aside, it was very interesting to watch. One young boy was especially entertained by the jacks. Jacks are the fish that for one reason or another return to freshwater a couple years early and are still relatively small. At the hatchery, they are placed in a seperate container and are not “whacked” because their milt (term meaning fish semen) won’t be harvested. So these very much alive fish-out-of-water are just flopping all over the place very spastically and the kid was enjoying getting splashed by the dying fish. Little did he know that the substance he was getting drenched with was actually the milt that these jacks had released in response to being out of water. He just giggled with joy in his ignorance.



  1. It’s a brutal process, but necessary one. Luckily there is a lot of other interesting things to see and do at that park if you can’t handle it.

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