Returning adult salmon and steelhead enter the fish ladder on the south side of the dam and are held in a 12’ x 40’ trap until they can be processed by ODFW’s South Santiam Hatchery staff.
Hatchery employees operate the fish trap one to three times per week depending on the time of year and numbers of adults returning to the system. An average of 4,000 spring Chinook, 4,700 summer steelhead, and 670 winter steelhead are collected annually.
All unmarked spring Chinook and winter steelhead are returned to their native habitats in the South Fork of the Santiam above Foster. The hatchery crew collects 500 pairs of hatchery Chinook and 700 pairs of summer steelhead to meet brood stock/egg collection needs.
All spring Chinook and summer steelhead recycling has been discontinued as of 2018.