Niagara Springs Fish Hatchery
Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Niagara Springs Hatchery is located in the Snake River Canyon ten miles south of Wendell, Idaho. Follow the signs for Niagara Springs State Park and watch for the entrance road to the hatchery. Niagara Springs Hatchery is owned and financed by the Idaho Power Company (IPC), and operated and staffed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The hatchery consists of an indoor nursery area, outdoor rearing raceways, and two flow-through settling ponds. Spring water supplies 21 upwelling incubators and 21 sixty-cubic-foot, rectangular vats for the hatching and early rearing of fry. The outdoor rearing space consists of nineteen (300 ft x 10 ft) raceways which are supplied by constant temperature, gravity flow, spring water. Two flow-through settling ponds (150 ft x 60 ft) are provided to remove settable solids from the hatchery effluent water.
The hatchery feeding system is completely automated. Two moveable bridges span the rearing area. Nineteen Nielson automatic feeders are mounted on the bridges. The fish are fed by moving the bridges down the length of the rearing area and energizing the individual feeders on the control panels. Bulk feed is dispensed to the feeders by a conveyor supplied by two 20,000 pound storage bins with an associated fines separator.
Raceway cleaning is also automated with an air blower system. Three blower motors supply 12 pounds per square inch of air to weighted, perforated, airlines on the bottom side corner of each raceway. The resulting bubble screen creates a vortex of water currents that keep waste material suspended along the length of the raceways.
Buildings on the grounds include five residences. Three are wood frame houses, one is a doublewide modular home, and one is a 14 ft wide mobile home. A 32 ft x 80 ft metal building contains an office, two incubator rooms, garage, shop, and feed storage room. Also on the grounds are one storage building and a large cinder block building which contains the chiller and blower electrical room, a heated shop, and garage.
Hatchery staff is also responsible for care of the IPC owned two-acre park adjacent to Niagara Springs Creek. It has a restroom, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and refuse containers.
Visiting hours are between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week. If you would like a tour of the facility, please feel free to stop by for a visit. If you have a large group of people, advance notice would be greatly appreciated. Please call us at (208) 536-2283 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Niagara Springs Hatchery is one of four hatcheries which IPC owns and IDFG staffs and operates to fulfill IPC's mitigation requirement for the IPC dams on the Snake River. The goal of Niagara Springs Hatchery is to rear 400,000 pounds of steelhead smolts annually to sustain steelhead trout runs in the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam and the Salmon River and its tributaries.