Rock Creek Hatchery coho being raised at Eastwood Elementary

ROSEBURG, Ore – Coho salmon juveniles from Rock Creek Hatchery will be raised at Eastwood Elementary School’s fish rearing facility and released this spring as smolts in Cow Creek below Galesville Reservoir. Next week, ODFW will transfer over 700 coho juveniles from Rock Creek Hatchery to the school.

These coho were the only surviving juvenile fish at the hatchery, along with about 700 adult spring chinook and summer steelhead after the Archie Fire destroyed most of the facility in early September. The adult fish were transferred to Cole Rivers Hatchery and are being spawned to meet Rock Creek’s production goals.

“This is a great outcome for the coho juveniles, and we’re grateful for the partnership with Eastwood Elementary where we’ve had the ODFW “Fish Eggs to Fry” program and a steelhead smolt program for years. It’s a change for the kids to raise coho instead of steelhead, and it’s a great opportunity for them to learn more about our native salmon,” said Evan Leonetti, ODFW STEP biologist.

Rock Creek Hatchery staff and Leonetti fin-clipped the coho salmon yesterday at the hatchery. After an observation period, the newly clipped coho will be taken to Eastwood’s facility next week.

Eastwood’s Cameron Pope, a fifth-grade teacher involved with the school’s hatchery is thrilled his students get the chance to help out during a challenging time for the community.

“Eastwood is super excited to have a great partnership with ODFW. Helping out our friends at ODFW is teaching our students the importance of community and how we all can lend a helping hand while also learning about fish,” Pope said.

ODFW is committed to reaching Rock Creek’s production goals this year. The agency initiated the insurance process, is working with FEMA, and began discussions on future fish production.