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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hatchery accident kills young salmon

Associated Press

ISSAQUAH, Wash. – A weekend accident at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery has resulted in the deaths of about 465,000 juvenile coho salmon.

The salmon died in the incubators, and about 420,000 other fish were moved into the raceway after a problem with a water pump at the hatchery cut off the flow of water to the young fish about 11 p.m. Saturday.

After efforts to get the pump re-started failed, technicians began moving the fish from the incubators into a holding tank in the raceway, which has a different water source.

“If it hadn’t been for their quick action it could have been a much bigger tragedy,” Gestin Suttle, program director for Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, told the King County Journal.

Suttle said moving the 4-month-old fish was a traumatic experience for them and some are likely to die in coming days.

Even though the loss was substantial, it probably won’t affect the year’s fishing season, said Doug Hatfield, hatchery manager.

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