Visit to Spring Creek Salmon Hatchery
Washington side of Columbia River
September 25, 2003

On my way home from a meeting in Portland I decided to take the highway on the north side of the river.  I turned off at a sign saying "View salmon spawning today" and found myself at the Spring Creek hatchery, across from Hood River.  The biologist there didn't know how many returns they had, but the count was over 50,000 a week ago and fish are still arriving at 2 to 3,000 a day. 

 
You can download a video clip of the pictures I took.  These were taken with my digital camera, so it is a series of 15 second video clips strung together with no further editing.  The views are as follows:
  1. A scenic shot of the Oregon side of the river, with Mt Hood in the background.
  2. The sign at the hatchery entrance.
  3. Fish jumping in the river as they approach the ladder.
  4. A number of views of the fish in the ladder.  3,000 fish would be one every 30 seconds -- when I was there  they were coming at about one every 15 seconds.
  5. The spawning process.  Obviously they have way more fish than they need for eggs.
  6. Two semi-truck loads of excess fish being put in plastic tubs and prepared to send to the food bank.
Question for you economists - what is the economic value of a food bank fish?