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 trucks 500 pairs of hatchery Chinook and 700 pairs of summer steelhead to South Santiam Hatchery to meet brood stock/egg collection needs.
All remaining hatchery summer steelhead and some spring Chinook are trucked down stream (recycled) to enhance angling opportunities. Spring Chinook are recycled until the fishery closes on August 15 and summer steelhead are recycled until September 1, then are removed from the system to reduce impacts on native fish populations. The latest fish trapping and recycling information is also available by calling South Santiam Fish Hatchery at (541) 367-3437 - ext. #1.