FY 2017 Planning and Design for Sauk summer Chinook and Sauk Chum Fish Propagation Programs – Phase 2

Salmonid Hatcheries and Harvest Management

Project ID17-SSIT-01
Recovery DomainsPuget Sound
Start Date01/01/2019
End Date12/31/2021
Last Edited04/14/2022
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The project will primarily fund a lead biologist charged with planning the future hatchery programs for Chinook and chum that will meet NOAA, USFWS, and Hatchery Science Review Group (HSRG) requirements. Both these populations are impacted by sedimentation and mass wasting limiting factors. This project would develop plans and designs for a Sauk summer Chinook and chum propagation programs with the intent to increase viable salmon population criteria (i.e. abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and genetic diversity) for both salmon populations. More specifically the funding will result in a conceptual hatchery design by a fishery engineer, provide funding to attend fish propagation conferences to inform hatchery plans and designs, involve hatchery facility visits and support vendor inquiries.

Funding from this award will advance this hatchery program development project to phase 2. Phase 2 involves working with fishery engineer to develop two hatchery conceptual design options guided by criteria list generated in phase 1. The consultant will then produce a preliminary hatchery design for selected or both options. The design will include though not limited to facility layout, specifications for water source draw and effluent release to meet regulatory requirements, plus construction cost estimate.

Project Benefit    

The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe has secured land for the development of a future hatchery facility. The tribe intends to develop hatchery programs for Sauk summer Chinook and Sauk Chum. A recent regional geomorphology assessment of the Sauk River indicated increased peak flow events due to climate change resulting in a high probability of river channel movement (NSD 2014). Both these populations are impacted by sedimentation and mass wasting limiting factors. There has not been a river directed fishery in the Skagit for summer/fall Chinook and Chum in 5 plus years.

The purpose of the Sauk Chinook program is to increase seeding levels (spawning density), a limiting factor identified in the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan (SRSC and WDFW 2005). The Sauk summer Chinook escapement abundance has fallen below NOAA’s designed low abundance threshold (LAT 400) 5 times in the last 10 years. This is the driver stock that determines terminal fishing opportunity.

A Sauk Chum fish propagation program for a fixed facility will also be planned and designed. In the Skagit River, there are three recognized stocks of chum salmon consisting of a lower Skagit, upper Skagit, and Sauk populations. The Sauk River population has spatial and temporal separation spawning in the Sauk River basin and spawning earlier than the other two populations. Since 2007, the Skagit chum populations have declined significantly. No extended directed freshwater chum commercial fishery has occurred in the Skagit since then. We presently operate a small remote-site incubator program (SSIT 2015).

The expected benefits of the hatchery programs planned and designed under this project are:

1. To increase seeding levels and overall abundance from new hatchery program operations so that directed in-river fishing opportunities can occur again.
2. To maintain population diversity in part to combat impacts of climate change.
3. To develop a well thought out hatchery design that will be able to support successful fish propagation programs under all future environmental conditions. Possible design elements to meet these challenges would be water recycling system, chiller, and captive brood stock capacity. Developing a hatchery design alternatives list is necessary before finalizing a conceptual design for facility.
4. The conceptual design will provide the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe with a guiding document for future construction of a facility.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$75,000

Project Map



  • Worksite Identifier: 43366220
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Puget Sound
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Puget Sound
  • Latitude: 48.263572
  • Longitude: -121.641642


  • Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia Chum Salmon ESU
  • Puget Sound Chinook Salmon ESU




  • D.0 Salmonid Hatcheries and Harvest ManagementY (Y/N)
    •      . . D.0.a Hatchery and harvest mgmt. funding .00
    •      . . D.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
    •      . . D.0.c
      Project Identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
    •      . . D.4 Hatchery Reform and AssessmentY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . D.4.a Hatchery assessment funding
      •      . . . . D.4.c.1 Hatchery reform development/implementationY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . D.4.c.2
          Record name of plan developed or implemented