• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 9s

Hatchery helps keep king numbers up in Anchorage

By Heather Hintze 5:59 PM July 30, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

King salmon need a little help to keep population numbers up in Anchorage.

That’s why fish culturists are collecting millions of eggs to ensure the salmon’s survival.

Part of Ship Creek near the William Jack Hernandez Hatchery is filled with kings that are coming home to spawn. They’re likely the first batch of hatchery fish released a few years ago.

“They come right up the fish pass as adults, so we don’t have to go into the creek to get the adults back,” explained Greg Carpenter, a fish culturist 2.

He and his team are counting on about 180 pairs to make this year’s egg take successful.

“King salmon is very important, obviously. We produce mostly king salmon here at the facility. It’s a big part of our production cycle,” said Fish Culturist 2 Tim Vangelderen.

They collect about three million eggs from mature females. The pink roe is poured into buckets and labeled for each fish.

Another integral part is collecting milt from the males.

“We want to make sure we minimize the amount of blood and water that go in with the sperm,” said technician Don Bee. “Once the sperm hit the water, they become activated. We don’t want them to be activated until they get into the bucket with the eggs.”

Carpenter also takes a sample of each female’s kidney to test for bacterial kidney disease. If a fish tests positive, all of her eggs will be thrown out because of what the disease can to do a healthy hatchery.

“Pustules on their belly, hemorrhaging, their eyes start to pop out,” he described. “It’s a disease that we don’t want to get into the hatchery to start with. Several years ago, we had an outbreak at the old Fort Richardson hatchery. We started family-tracking all of our salmon.”

The smolt that result from the egg take will be distributed to 11 sites around the Southcentral region.

This past spring, the hatchery released 370,000 smolt into Ship Creek.

Like wild salmon, they have about a two percent chance of survival. Carpenter said it’s worth it if it will keep kings coming back.

“Ship Creek in general is one of the few or maybe only urban Chinook fisheries in the United States,” Carpenter said. “Where else can you be at the Hilton and walk down and catch a king salmon?”

None of the fish go to waste once the harvest is over. The most recent batch will go to mushers to feed their dogs. Last week the salmon went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to feed bears.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Friend remembers Brandon Merritt, 19-year-old killed in gas station shooting

    by Eric Ruble on May 29, 20:17

    Brandon Merritt had been in Alaska less than one month when he was shot and killed at a Holiday gas station on Abbott Road last week. He grew up here before moving to Hawai’i for his freshman year at Campbell High School in ‘Ewa Beach, where he met Sam Lewis. “Ever since the day we […]

  • News

    AFD calls Div. of Forestry, JBER for assistance with wildfire near East Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 18:01

    The Anchorage Fire Department is responding to a wildfire just less than a mile from an East Anchorage neighborhood. The fire was first reported at 5:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. AFD Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc said the fire was located on military land and was difficult to reach, so the department has reached out […]

  • News

    Dead whale found stuck on cruise ship docking in Seward

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 17:26

    A dead humpback whale was found on the bow of a Holland America cruise ship Sunday morning in Seward. The Seward City News reported the Zaandam arrived at the Alaska Railroad terminal with what was initially believed to be juvenile humpback whale on the bulbous, lower bow. The whale has since been tentatively identified as […]

  • News

    DOF battles two wildfires near McGrath, one covers roughly 100 acres

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 17:05

    The Alaska Division of Forestry is battling two wildfires near McGrath, including one that has grown to nearly 100 acres. The larger fire, known as the Medfra fire, was reported at 10:25 a.m. and “started in an old burn area and spread into an unburned area with fresh fuel.” The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reports […]

  • News

    Firefighter: Grass fire at Glenn Highway ramp may have been started by cigarette

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 15:20

    An Anchorage firefighter at the scene of a small grass fire near the Glenn Highway Sunday told KTVA it may have been started by a cigarette butt thrown out of a passing vehicle. The fire was first reported to the fire department at 2:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. The fire was out less than […]

  • News

    Missing girl may be with her mother, who has no legal custody

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 14:53

    The Anchorage Police Department is searching for an 8-year-old girl whose mother has warrants for her arrest and doesn’t have legal custody of the girl. Nayla Demings was last seen at her father’s house on E Fifth Avenue around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday. Her father has full legal custody of Nayla and police said in […]

  • News

    Park Service considers visitor caps, expects record crowds

    by Associated Press on May 29, 14:15

    As the National Park Service kicks off a centennial summer expected to draw record crowds, the agency is seriously considering caps on how many people pass through some of the country’s most iconic landscapes and historical sites each day. Park managers have begun looking at whether, when and how best to manage the impact of […]

  • News

    Czech Republic man dies on Denali after 1,500-foot fall

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 12:02

    A Czech Republic man died Saturday evening while skiing on Denali, according to the National Park Service. Pavel Michut, 45, “fell roughly 1,500 feet from an elevation of 17,000 feet” on the Messner Couloir route, NPS spokeswoman Maureen Gualtieri said in a statement Sunday. “The event was witnessed by multiple parties at the 14,200-foot camp […]