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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Power outage causes death of 6.2M chinook salmon fry

Three-month old chinook salmon swim in a tank crowded with about 800,000 of the 2-inch fish at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, on April 22, 2004, in Issaquah, Wash. (ELAINE THOMPSON / AP)
Associated Press

TACOMA – State officials say more than 6.2 million chinook salmon fry died last week when strong winds caused a power outage at a state hatchery in Gig Harbor.

The News Tribune reports the fish were kept in incubators at the Minter Creek Hatchery. Some were being raised to help provide more food for endangered orcas, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hatchery division manager Eric Kinne called it a devastating loss.

During the storm, the hatchery’s backup generator also failed, which meant the pump that supplies water to the incubators failed.

Employees said they tried to get the generator working, and then tried to get water into the incubators using other methods, but it was unsuccessful.

Among the dead fish were 4.2 million Deschutes fall chinook fry, 1.5 million Minter Creek fall chinook fry and 507,000 White River spring chinook fry.