Fish hatcheries became necessary in the Northwest as over fishing of first salmon and then almost all types of fish took place. When the dams were place on the Columbia River the problem became worse and several sub-species became extinct. This included Salmon known as the “hogs of Summer” and could be a large as a man. With fishing regulation and many many fish hatcheries the river fish population is barely holding its own. But if it was not for the fish hatcheries there would be no salmon, steel head or trout in the Northwest. Bonneville fish hatchery is one of the largest in the Northwest and is set up for a great visitor experience.
The Bonneville fish hatchery was first built back in 1909 and has gone through several rebuilds and enlargements and is now the largest fish hatchery in Oregon. This is a working hatchery so at time you will see employees going about their daily task. The hatchery is also set up to accommodate visitors with beautiful landscaping and special viewing ponds and information areas. The trout and the sturgeon viewing ponds are a must see. All of the this makes the place very popular so during peak tourist season the place can be busy with folks. The hatchery provides a self-guided tour brochure that I have always found them to be out of so I a link below to PDF file that contain the brochure.