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A Non-Profit Corporation
Established by
the Kiwanis Club of Smith River


FREE TOURS DAILY

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9:00am to 4:00pm - weekdays


IT WAS ONLY A DREAM
In 1968 the 15-member Kiwanis Club of Smith River decided to sponsor the construction and operation of a fish hatchery to increase and perpetuate the native runs of Steelhead and Chinook salmon in the Smith River. This was not an easy task, as no one individual or group had ever tried this type of undertaking. Therefore, there were absolutely no guidelines to follow.




The Forks
Smith River

FAMOUS FISHING STREAM
The Smith River, long noted for it's huge Steelhead
(up to 25 lbs.) and Chinook
salmon (up to 65 lbs.) is the third
largest stream in California,
A major route for migrating 
adult fish to reach their
spawning grounds

Andrew Van Scoyk, Hatchery Manager with 23lb. Steelhead - 2006 

 
1964 FLOODS DISASTROUS
The tremendous floods in 1964 eradicated much of the spawning population and decimated native spawning grounds. This disaster also led to a rapid decline in the fish runs, hence the need for a hatchery to restock the Smith River and it's tributaries, became necessary. 
SPECIAL LEGISLATION PASSED
In 1970, after what seemed like an insurmountable amount of RED tape, the state finally passed unprecedented legislation granting the Kiwanis Club of Smith River  a permit to build and operate
 the first privately owned fish hatchery in the state
Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery

Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery is in operation 365 days each year. Numerous school children visit the hatchery and several of the local schools have developed classroom incubation programs. This technology allows each student a hands-on opportunity to experience the wonder of nature. You will find fish at the hatchery during the entire year, during the spawning season the activity is greatly increased. 

Spawning Season



  CHINOOK:  (King Salmon)
The fall spawning season of adult Chinook, usaually November and December, is charged with excitement and biological interest. Spawning usually takes place on Monday and Thursday mornings. Both the fish trap and the fish ladder are checked and the adult fish are transported to the holding ponds. Females in one pond and males in another. Each new fish, as well as those in the holding ponds, are checked for readiness to spawn. The "green" (not ready to spawn) females are returned to the holding ponds. Each adult female will yield approximately 3500 eggs.
Bill Nunley, fish technician with 53lb. Chinook salmon -- 2006
   STEELHEAD: 


Adipose Clip
Steelhead, unlike the salmon, usually return in the Spring months of January through March. Also, unlike the salmon, Steelhead do not necessarily die after spawning. They may return to spawn several subsequent years. Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery raises over 100,000 Steelhead each year. While the majority of returning fish are either native fish or 
"Rowdy Creek" fish, occasionally fish from other areas will migrate into Rowdy Creek. When a returning adult fish has no visible clip-markings, the scale-sample when viewed under a microscope, can determine whether or not the fish was raised in a hatchery or developed in the wild. All the data on spawned fish is kept at the hatchery and this information is compared with previous spawning years.


DONATIONS BUILD AND SUPPORT HATCHERY

The Rowdy Creek Fish hatchery was built entirely with donated funds, labor and materials. The property was donated and the hatchery sets at the confluence of Dominie and Rowdy Creek. The California Department of Fish and Game provides technical support. 



The hatchery is located at, 255 N. Fred Haight Dr. near the post office, in the historic town of Smith River. The town is located only eight miles south of the Oregon border and 13 miles north of Crescent City, Situated adjacent to U.S. Hwy. 101, the hatchery site lies three miles east of the mouth  of the Smith River. 

ECOLOGICAL PROJECT SPARKS INTEREST NATIONWIDE



This is one of the largest non-profit ecological projects ever undertaken on the west coast and we  continually need your help. It costs 17 cents to raise a fingerling compared to 55 cents for a yearling, but we feel the extra expense of raising a fish at the hatchery is justified by the higher survival rate of these larger fish. This, of course, requires additional money for fish food. Fish food is our single largest expense incurred at the hatchery

PROGRESS DEPENDS ON YOU

Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery is moving ahead, but construction projects, maintenance, grounds keeping and general operations depend on your generousity in contributions. All donations are tax deductible.



 The year 2006 set a new hatchery record for returning adult Salmon and Steelhead.
Broken again in 2009/10 for Chinook Salmon

 

2009/10

2006

2005

Chinook  

2775

579

383

spawned females 

37

41 

68

Steelhead

 

2,231

564

spawned females

 

51

59

 

$40.00 will raise approximately 50 yearlings
$80.00 will raise approximately 100 yearlings
$750.00 will put 1000 Steelhead or Chinook salmon yearlings
back into the Smith River and it's tributaries. 
Smith River is the last free flowing river in California.

ROWDY CREEK FISH HATCHERY
(255 N. Fred Haight Dr.)
PO BOX 328
SMITH RIVER, CA 95567-0328
Tele: (707) 487-3443   Fax: (707) 487-4133
Andrew Van Scoyk, Hatchery Manager
email = Andy@RowdyCreek.com
Judy A. Smith, Business Manager


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