Bonneville Hatchery Visitors' Guide
Bonneville Hatchery was constructed in 1909. In 1957, the facility was remodeled and expanded as part of the Columbia River Fisheries Development Program (Mitchell Act)—a program to enhance declining fish runs in the Columbia River Basin. The hatchery underwent another renovation in 1974 as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) mitigation of fish losses from the construction of the John Day Dam. In 1998, construction was completed on the Captive Broodstock Facility for the Grande Ronde Basin spring Chinook supplementation program.
Bonneville Hatchery is Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s largest hatchery facility and has a diverse fish production program. It is used for adult collection, egg incubation and rearing of Tule fall Chinook, and adult collection and spawning of coho salmon. It is also used for rearing of, summer steelhead, winter steelhead and coho (coho egg incubation occurs at Cascade Hatchery). The hatchery has excellent egg and fingerling quarantine facilities that are often used to assist other hatchery programs in the basin.
Best time to visit: All year for display ponds. September - October for adult fall Chinook and coho salmon spawning.
Visiting hours: Visiting hours: 7:30 – Dusk. 7 days a week; gate controlled.
Fish raised: Chinook and coho salmon.
What to see and do: Display ponds offer a relaxing place to feed large rainbow trout and view adult white sturgeon measuring more than 10 feet long. There is a gift shop open all year. Interpretive displays are available inside and out, including an informational video and a viewing area to watch fall spawning activities. ADA-accessible restrooms are available.
- Trout Ponds - Two ponds have Rainbow Trout in them. We do not raise trout here at Bonneville Fish Hatchery; these Trout are brought here for your enjoyment. There are machines by the ponds where you can buy fish food for a quarter to feed the trout. The money from these machines is used to keep the hatchery grounds beautiful for visitors. Caution: Trout can bite! Please do not tease or touch them!
- Sturgeon Pond - There is one outdoor pond that has young sturgeon in it. White sturgeon will eat live prey items and things that have died. Their mouth is like a vacuum tube and is especially good at eating food off the bottom of the pond. White sturgeon are prehistoric, having evolved over 200 million years ago. They are a cartilaginous fish which means they have no bones – similar to a shark or a Pacific lamprey.
- Sturgeon Viewing Center - Beyond the outdoor sturgeon pond there is a small white building that you can walk into. This is the Sturgeon Viewing Center, which was built in 1998. Herman the Sturgeon is located in the Sturgeon Viewing Center and is approximately 10’ long, 500 pounds and over 80 years old.
- Wildlife: birds of prey, fish, songbirds, waterfowl, wading birds
- Facilities: boat ramp nearby, camp host, ADA accessible, picnic tables, ADA accessible restroom
- Neighboring Bonneville Dam offers a visitor center with a fish-viewing window where visitors can see adult salmon swimming through the fish ladder.
- The Columbia River Gorge offers many trails for hiking within a few miles of the hatchery These trails vary from easy to hard walks.
- Multnomah Falls is nine miles west of Bonneville Fish Hatchery and offers great hiking and viewing opportunities.
- The Stern-wheeler Columbia Gorge is docked four miles away in Cascade Locks, where visitors can take a cruise and enjoy the breathtaking sights and scenery.
- Ride the Historic Mt. Hood Railroad in Hood River, just 22 miles to the East of the Hatchery.
- On the Washington side of the Columbia River, just a little over ten minutes away, visitors can play a round of golf, get a great meal, or get a massage at the Skamania Lodge.
- The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center is just across the Bridge of The Gods toll bridge in Washington less than ten minutes away.
- Carson Hot Springs Resort is just 20 minutes East on Highway 14 on the Washington side of the Columbia River.
Directions: Take I-84 to exit 40. The hatchery is located about 40 miles east of Portland.
Address and phone:
70543 NE Herman Loop
Cascade Locks, OR 97014