A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Nov 8, 2007

Bonneville Fish Hatchery

Jen was talking all last week about taking the kids to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery for a fun field trip.   Perhaps, like me, you are skeptical of the charm and allure of a fish hatchery.  It may be that the thought of watching a bunch of fish being bred in captivity is less than enthralling.  It may even sound boring to you.

If that's the case, just like me, you'd be wrong.  It's actually awesome.

First off, there are these little sections of river for viewing - almost like ponds - where the trout live.  These aren't any regular old trout like the kind I used to catch back home in the creeks of Buffalo Creek in my sweet home of Colorad-y (spit- bing!).  No, these things are the size of small dogs.  They are absolutely gigantic.

These trout are also totally hip to the fact that you, as a person walking around the edge of the pond, are a likely source of food.  They congregate next to wherever you walk just waiting for the pellets of food to come raining down.

Farther up there's a deeper section where they have sturgeon.  At this particular hatchery there's a sturgeon named Herman who is over 10 feet long and over 450 lbs.  There's a little sturgeon center where you can go and see Herman and the trout that live there with him up closer via some nifty glass.

I've since learned that just as there were many Lassie's, there have been many Herman over the years.  More info on Herman can be found here.

We were lucky that we were visiting during the salmon spawning season.  This is a picture of the "crowder" where the salmon jump up into a holding area before they are eventually taken into the spawning room and mated.  In this picture you can see a chinook salmon trying to get up into it.

There's a tube that sucks the fish up into a truck for transportation to other locations.  Somehow I convinced Jen to stand under it.  mwuhaha.