CTUIR releases juvenile spring Chinook salmon into Mill Creek

By on Friday, March 29th, 2024 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has announced the release of about 60,000 juvenile spring Chinook salmon just downstream from where the city of Walla Walla diverts its water from Mill Creek Wednesday.

The smolts, 18 months old and around 6 inches long, came from the CTUIR fish hatchery on the South Fork Walla Walla River where they were fed, kept disease-free and swimming in water that was the ideal temperature for their development – all to eventually be released into the Walla Walla River Basin.

A large tanker truck dropped the smolts into the fast-moving water to begin their journey to the sea. The release was part of a larger scope of work to help salmon species recover in the region.

Walla Walla city staff reports over 500,000 smolts will be released this year. In 2023, 18 Chinook salmon returned to the basin. The goal is to have 5,000 salmon return to the basin annually. Salmon from this year’s release are expected to begin returning in 2025.

Photo from city of Walla Walla