Virtual Field Trip Time! Fish Hatchery

Homeschool Field Trip, Fish Hatchery2/26/2010-We learned that ODFW will stock Devils Lake with approximately 13,000 trout late in March, and continue stocking through the summer.  6,500 fish? What does that look like?  And twice in a matter of weeks? How does that happen? We’ve talked to two really personal informative employees on the phone and have planned a trip to the Salmon River Hatchery.  I’ve learned a few of the answers on the phone today – but will  have the boys ask next week.  Hubby will be off and able to go with us. 🙂

Update, March 8th – We had a great time in the break of a northern cold front to visit the local hatchery at Salmon River in Otis, Oregon.  I have posted the answers in Black and have posted our field trip pics below. 🙂

        CLICK HERE if you would like to see more precise numbers of the Salmon River Hatchery, the answers below were gathered by the boys. 


Devils Lake Questions:

  1. Where do the fish come from? Salmon River Hatchery
  2. Can we watch the delivery? Exact time is unknown, but we can keep checking in.
  3. Is there data on the disbursement of fish in the lake? They clip fins, and have people that check the levels of fish in the lakes.
  4. Are there local fishing clinics? Yes, the first weekend in June at Salmon River Hatchery
  5. Where will the entry point be at the lake?  At a boat ramp, would not specify which one.
  6. What time of day will they do it? Time depends on how long it takes to get the truck, set it up in the right spot, it only takes 4-5 minutes to load, and they try to unload  within an hour.
  7. Can we watch? Can We WATCH?? We can, but only by camping out at the right ramp, or by visiting the hatchery then following the truck over.

Truck Questions:

  1. Will they deliver to more than one spot on the same day? No.
  2. How do they release them? The video below shows the delivery
  3. How long can the fish live in the truck? They try to deliver within an hour. The fish get very upset from the motion of the tanks, enough to not eat for 1-2 days.
  4. What company provides this service? ODF&W have their own trucks, however, Salmon River needs to borrow a truck from a different hatchery.
  5. How far does the truck travel? Ours travel locally to  Hebo, Devils Lake, Siletz River and such. Sounds like a 20 mile radius.
  6. How do you become a fish deliver-er? Become an ODF&W Employee!

Hatchery Questions:

  1. What is the life cycle from Egg to Fry to Trout again?  Egg, Alvin, Fry, Fingerling, Juvenile, and AdultSee Pics of Each Stage Here
  2. Is the entire life cycle completed and repeated at the same facility? At this one, Yes.
  3. Do they bring eggs in? Yes, from the river – they give eggs to other hatcheries, eggs are easier to transport than fry.Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

    These trays held 6,500 eggs today with 51,000 eggs ready to be raised for the Siletz River, Oregon.

    Each tray can hold 8,500 eggs. Water is pumped in from the Salmon River and is filtered up through the bottom of each tray. (The water is screened for debris on the the way into the facility.) Seeing the River Water supporting these eggs brings the focus of conservation and water quality to real time.

  4. How long do the fish stay in their tanks? For about a year. 600,000 fish in each ponds. They had 1-11 numbered tanks outside – plus a round one to hold the larger fish for visitors.
  5. How many ponds do they supply fish for per hatchery? A few lakes and rivers.
  6. Is there a larger focus on stocking or research? They have a research center near Alsea, but the hatcheries are Definitely geared towards raising fish.
  7. What do they feed the fish? Specially prepared fish pellets of the highest quality, several times a day.
  8. How much food does 6,500 fish require? 50 Pounds per pond, 600,000 fish per pond.
  9. How many employees work at the hatcheries? 4 full time employees, one host volunteer, and one college intern.
  10. What classes would you take now to help you get there? The employee we spoke with had graduated with an Associates from Mt Hood Community College, Fisheries Program,   he said others had degrees from OSU Department of Fisheris and Wildlife  Oregon Coast Community College, Aquarium Science Program

 Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, OregonHomeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon


Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon


I was busy writing down most of the answers to our questions from the following signs
when hubby suggested we just take photos of the posters. . . . . .  




Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

This is where they get the water from the Salmon River in Otis, Oregon.  In the fall they use this area to obtain the male and female fish to get the eggs and milt.Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon  Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

This is the tank that they open up to fish for the pubic in June.
  Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

Tiny fish in the tanks the netting is reflecting on the water.

 Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon

 Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon
We were able to see the eggs, however keeping the hatchery free of invaders is key – we had to wash our shoes before entering the room.
(Thinking about setting up this system by the front door, Ya know??)

We all got to peek at the eggs.

Homeschool, Virtual, Field Trip, Fish Hatchery, Oregon 

2010 ODFW Fish Stocking Schedule
Click here to see the amazing number of fish to be released!

Thanks for taking our Virtual Field Trip to the Hatchery. I guarantee that our pictures are not adequate to record all we’ve seen, not only at the Salmon River Hatchery but at many other Hatcheries that we have visited over the years. I highly recommend that you take up the same habit we have, to pull off the road when traveling and visit these around Oregon.  The people who work there are amazingly patient with their guests and keep their properties up to a park like setting. Click here to view the list of hatcheries in Oregon.

Please leave a comment if you have read this and enjoyed our questions and answers, the boys get a kick out of people commenting on their reports.

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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6 Responses to Virtual Field Trip Time! Fish Hatchery

  1. Pingback: Fish Hatchery–Virtual Field Trip | Petra School

  2. Pingback: Fish Hatchery–Spawning Time | Petra School

  3. Pingback: Angie of Pebble Keeper « Because Mom Said

  4. Pingback: Trout Vs Salmon « Petra School

  5. Pingback: Free Fishing Day! « Petra School

  6. Very much enjoyed your website. Very informative, and thanks for making use of our Youtube Fish Stocking Video on Devils Lake on your site. For additional information about Devils Lake visit The Devils Lake Water Improvement District’s website at

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