The Rogue River Basin’s Cole Rivers Hatchery will be the only Oregon hatchery — out of seven federally owned hatcheries in the state — to see its operations put out for competitive bid next week.
Federal officials have determined five others likely qualify to remain under state operation, while a sixth — Leaburg Hatchery in the Willamette Valley — will be shuttered and its trout production put out for public bid to be raised for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers elsewhere, according to the agency.
State-federal co-ownership of the five hatcheries in the Willamette Valley and North Coast mean they likely qualify for the Corps to sign contracts with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to continue running them to raise salmon, steelhead and trout as mitigation for wild fish habitat lost by the construction of Corps dams.
That leaves just Cole Rivers — and control of its almost 2.8 million salmon, steelhead and trout released annually throughout the Rogue Basin — to be up for competitive bidding by ODFW and private firms, including three companies that so far have expressed interest.
Read more at the Medford Mail Tribune.