Power loss at Oregon hatchery means smaller salmon, trout

December 4, 2021 GMT

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — Species like Chinook salmon, steelhead, and rainbow trout at a hatchery in southern Oregon will not grow as large as usual this winter.

The Cole Rivers fish hatchery heats its water from October through April. But last April, a cable that connected the hatchery to the Lost Creek dam broke, Jefferson Public Radio reported.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it was unable to fix the mile-long, 50-year-old cable.

The hatchery is looking into holding the fish longer to give them more time to grow. The Army Corps is expecting to find a solution to return power to the hatchery by next year, potentially connecting with the utility company Pacific Power.

Darren Gallion, with the Army Corps of Engineers, said that releasing the fish when they’re smaller could have long-term consequences.

“We’re unsure of exactly what the effects will be,” said Gallion. “We anticipate, potentially lower survival due to smaller size. There could be some predation issues there.”