LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- About one million Coho salmon found sanctuary at the Leaburg Hatchery in Lane County after being saved from last summer’s fire in the Columbia Gorge.
Employees from the hatchery said the move is temporary, and they are preparing to send the fish back to their proper homes in the next few months.
The Eagle Creek fire burned up all vegetation that would normally keep the land in place. Cascade Hatchery said they feared that when it started to rain, the runoff and dirt would seep into the hatchery fish tanks on the Columbia River and kill the fish.
Leaburg Hatchery filled a number of trucks with salmon and brought them to the hatchery where the fish have been living for four months.
Eric Withalm from Leaburg Hatchery said it feels good to help.
“It’s great that we can help out other facilities and other programs and, you know we’re just one big team, “Withalm said. “All the hatcheries together and we work with each other at different facilities and it’s good that we can give a lending helping hand to another program.”
The salmon will be transported to their permanent homes in the Lostine River and the Pendleton Acclimation site during the week of March 5th.