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A Fall Chinook Salmon and Rainbow Trout Hatchery
Our hatchery is located on Hwy 101 between Gardiner and the Smith River Bridge, north of Reedsport
Since 1992, the Gardiner, Reedsport, Winchester Bay Salmon Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) has annually released nearly 200,000 Fall Chinook Salmon (Smolt) in Winchester Bay near the confluence of Winchester Creek.
In three to five years these smolt return to Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin as adult Chinook salmon. Because they acclimated in the bay these salmon have no predetermined spawning area to return to. They loiter in the lower bay creating a Terminal Fishery.
Anglers catch these fish in the ocean offshore of Winchester Bay, in the bay itself, in the east boat basin and the lower Umpqua river.
Each fall STEP volunteers begin the arduous task of trapping returning adult salmon, collecting and hatching eggs, raising the resulting Fry to Smolt. The Smolt are adipose fin clipped and released to begin the cycle again.
This is all accomplished with the hard work of STEP volunteers, generous support from local businesses, community members and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.Support Us
Watch her for the latest fishing news in Oregon
CHINOOK – COHO SALMON CROSSBREED DISCOVERED
Though the discovery was initially announced in the fall of 2019, a November 2021 study published in Ecology and Evolution provides greater detail about the rare phenomenon. The researchers confirmed that the hybrid salmon[…]Read more
2023 Ocean Salmon Seasons Set
April 7, 2023 NEWPORT, Ore – The Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) yesterday finalized the 2023 ocean salmon seasons. These include ocean waters off Oregon. Columbia Basin hatchery coho salmon[…]Read more
March 30th, Class of 2023 Fry Update
Our Class of 2023 Juvenile Chinook Salmon have reached the Fry Stage and developed Parr markings. (400 per pound, 1&1/2 to 2 inches in length) These vertical lines help the[…]Read more