Visiting Bonneville Fish Hatchery in Oregon | OK Which Way


Visiting Bonneville Fish Hatchery in Oregon


The Bonneville Fish Hatchery is a great place to stop during your travels along 1-84. It sits on Tanner Creek, close to where it empties into the Columbia River. The grounds are lovely to walk around and have a picnic, as well as explore the hatchery.

This hatchery is Oregon’s largest and has been around for over 100 years. Hatched here are Coho Salmon and Chinook Salmon for release in the Columbia River. Some young fish are also sent to other hatcheries.


Bonneville Fish Hatchery building | OK Which Way

Ok Which Way is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Our posts may contain advertisements or affiliate links, which means we will make a small commission if you buy any products that have been linked to on this blog.

Visiting Bonneville Fish Hatchery

Location: Right off I-84, about 5 miles west of Cascade Locks
Originally Built: 1909
Managed By: Oregon Fish & Wildlife
Parking: free parking in the lots
Entrance Fee: free
Amenities: Restrooms and picnic tables


The gates open to Bonneville Fish Hatchery at 7:30am each day. There is no fee to visit and you can explore at your leisure as the tour is self guided. Take a little time to see interpretive displays, rainbow trout, Herman the sturgeon, and find a little something in the gift shop.



The rearing ponds are used for coho salmon and fall Chinook, and other fish as needed.

Bonneville Fish Hatchery rearing ponds | OK Which Way


Visiting Bonneville Fish Hatchery in Oregon | OK Which Way



Spawning takes place during the fall. If you visit during other times of year, not much is happening in the building. But, you can watch a video on the spawning process at the hatchery. The video is a bit graphic, but very informative. The part that I remember most is fertilization of the salmon egg. Many eggs from females are held in a bucket. The sperm from the males have been collected in a cup. The sperm cup is then dumped into the bucket of eggs. VoilĂ , fertilized fish eggs.

Bonneville Fish Hatchery spawning building | OK Which Way



Inside a little white building is an underwater viewing area where you can watch fish doing fish things. There are trout and sturgeon, including 500 pound Herman the Sturgeon.

Bonneville Fish Hatchery sturgeon viewing building | OK Which Way


Bonneville Fish Hatchery Herman the Sturgeon | OK Which Way


Bonneville Fish Hatchery sturgeon | OK Which Way



Historical Site


Lewis and Clark camped in this area on April 9, 1806 as they made their way towards the Pacific Ocean


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>