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Staff devastated by loss of Rock Creek fish hatchery

Officials said 700 adult fish have been saved.

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 5:16 PM

IDLEYLD PARK, Ore. -- The Rock Creek Hatchery is gone due to the Archie Creek Fire, and staff said they are still trying to figure out their next move.

All buildings at Rock Creek except for the Rock Ed Education Center were destroyed or severely damaged, including employee housing. Staff access has been limited due to a number of hazards around the site such as downed trees and power lines.

MORE: LEABURG, ROCK CREEK FISH HATCHERIES HIT HARD BY WILDFIRES

The hatchery lost 400,000 of the juvenile fish they were raising this year. Staff said most of the fish were spring Chinook.

Umpqua Watershed District Manager Tim Walters told KEZI 9 News that this was a tough loss for their staff.

"They invested a lot of their lives and were very dedicated to the facility,” he said. “They are all very devastated by the loss.”

Walters said they saved 700 adult fish as of Thursday. Those fish were transferred to another hatchery to begin spawning.

He also said they haven’t discussed any plans on rebuilding just yet. They’ve been working with the county to schedule visits to the property to assess damage.

“There’s a lot of things we need to take into consideration,” Walters said.

Six facilities managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife were affected by fires, with the Rock Creek hatchery hit the hardest. The Leaburg facility was also greatly impacted.

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