McCall Fish Hatchery
Friday, February 12, 2016
The McCall Fish Hatchery is located within the city limits of McCall, Idaho - approximately 1/4 mile south of Highway 55 at 300 Mather Road. Constructed in 1979, it is the first Lower Snake River Compensation Plan hatchery built in Idaho, part of a federal mitigation program created to compensate for fish loss due to the construction of the four Lower Snake River dams. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game operates the hatchery with funding provided through the US Fish and Wildlife Lower Snake River Compensation Program. The facility was built to rear summer chinook salmon.
The hatchery also operates a satellite facility located on the South Fork of the Salmon River, near Warm Lake, during the summer months. Adult summer chinook salmon are trapped and spawned at this facility, the eggs are then transported to the McCall Hatchery for incubation and subsequent rearing.
The hatchery consists of an incubation area and early rearing room containing 14 rearing containers, two large outside raceways, and a collection basin. The hatchery receives rearing water from two sites on Payette Lake, a surface inlet for spring and fall use, and a deep inlet for mid-summer and winter use. Water from both inlets can be mixed to maintain water temperatures.
The satellite facility consists of a weir in the river, a fish ladder, the fish trap, two raceway holding ponds, and a fish spawning area. The water supply for the South Fork Trap is river water from the South Fork Salmon River.
The hatchery is a popular site to visit during the spring and summer months. The hatchery is open to visitors year-round from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. There is a self-guided tour available, or guided group tours can be arranged by phoning (208) 634-2690.
The satellite is open to visitors during daylight hours from mid-June through mid-September.
Summer chinook salmon is the primary species produced at McCall hatchery. A resident species program operates during the summer months, producing small fish for statewide mountain lake stocking, and redistributing catchable size rainbow into local area waters.