• 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

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

  • News

    Trio of suicides leaves Alaska village in grief

    by Associated Press on Oct 09, 20:09

    An entire village on Alaska’s western coast is grieving the back-to-back suicides of three young adults -with each subsequent death influenced by the preceding one. A regional tribal health organization is sending an Alaska Native suicide-response-and-prevention team to Hooper Bay next week in what essentially will be a community debriefing. But in a region with […]

  • News

    Community rallies to rebuild Silver Fox Inn

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 09, 19:39

    A faulty fuse box was to blame for Wednesday’s fire at the Silver Fox Inn in Wasilla that caused more than $100,000 of damage, managers said. The roof needs to be repaired and there’s a massive hole in the floor, as well as smoke damage all around the restaurant and bar. Michelle Alley said they’re […]

  • News

    State says Alaskans should test for radon

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 09, 19:20

    The Alaska Department of Health is recommending that every Alaskan test their home for the presence of radon. According to the latest Bulletin from the Department of Epidemiology, the colorless, odorless gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the U.S. The Department calls radon “an under-recognized health risk that warrants widespread […]

  • Crime

    Murder convictions overturned in 2006 homicide case

    by Shannon Kemp on Oct 09, 18:53

    An Anchorage man has been given another opportunity to go before a jury and defend his actions that led to the death of two people on New Year’s Eve in 2006. Ryan Sanders, now 31, applied for a hearing to include a key piece of evidence excluded in his original trial, which resulted in a […]

  • News

    Where is Jael? One year later, young mother still missing

    by Shannon Ballard on Oct 09, 18:08

    This weekend marks an anniversary a Valley mother prayed would never come — one year since Jael Hamblen disappeared from her South Anchorage apartment. Everything was left behind—including her infant son. Today, Joel Hamblen is 19 months old and growing up fast. Hamblen’s mother, Colleen Vague, took over as Joel’s guardian. The toddler is a ball […]

  • News

    Child missing after fire destroys Tununak home

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 09, 17:23

    Authorities say a young child is unaccounted for after an early morning fire destroyed a home in the village of Tununak. Alaska State Troopers in Bethel were contacted by an officer from Tununak at 1:21 a.m. Friday, informing them of a residential fire, according to an online dispatch. Troopers described the home as “completely burnt to […]

  • DayBreak

    Daybreak Adopt-A-Pets for Oct. 9, 2015

    by Daybreak Staff on Oct 09, 13:49

    There are plenty of furry faces hoping to find a loving home. Those looking on the lookout for one are in luck. In this weeks Adopt-A-Pet, the Anchorage Animal Care and Control has three four legged friends ready to be adopted. Doe’jo: Looking for a warm lap to curl up in Friendly and affectionate Lovely […]

  • News

    More, smaller icebergs could show up in Alaska tanker lanes

    by Associated Press on Oct 09, 12:18

    Alaska’s Prince William Sound will see more, but smaller icebergs in the next decade. That’s according to a report by a marine safety organization that monitors tankers carrying oil from the trans-Alaska pipeline. The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council says icebergs from Columbia Glacier are smaller because they have to travel farther before […]