• 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

    Police seek armed robbery suspect, stolen truck

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 13:14

    Police say they are looking for a suspect and a stolen truck after an early morning robbery in South Anchorage. The victim told police she was trying to find a parking spot at an apartment complex on the 1700 block of Lore Road around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when she was approached by a handgun-wielding woman, […]

  • On-Air

    ‘Edge of Alaska’ star discusses life in McCarthy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 11:34

    Located at the foothills of the Wrangell Mountains, 65 miles west of the Yukon Territory border is a place once known as a sinful getaway for the workers of nearby Kennecott. McCarthy, according to the 2010 census, has only 28 yearly residents. This remote location is the setting of a new reality show hitting airwaves on […]

  • Crime

    Man fleeing police arrested outside Juneau school after hit-and-run

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 11:10

    A driver trying to dodge police was arrested after a crash near a Juneau high school Monday. Jose Angel Munoz, 42, was arrested after a collision with an 82-year-old driver, according to a press release from the Juneau Police Department. He was wanted on a warrant issued Sept. 26 for drug and felony driving-under-the-influence charges. […]

  • Sports

    UAA volleyball setter receives GNAC Player of the Week honors

    by KTVA Sports on Oct 21, 10:22

    No surprise … another honor for the UAA volleyball team. Sophomore setter Morgan Hooe is the GNAC Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week.

  • On-Air

    Travel Tuesday: Airfare 9-1-1

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 10:07

    Airfare 9-1-1 alert: feuding airlines means airfare drops for you! Get those carry-ons ready, Daybreak’s travel guru Scott McMurren is back on the couch with some deals you just can’t refuse. McMurren says if the first snowfall of the year has you thinking about getting away, there’s no better time than now. Anchorage to Houston […]

  • Sports

    UAA hockey heads east

    by KTVA Sports on Oct 21, 8:55

    On Monday, the UAA hockey team’s long week was just beginning.

  • Sports

    West and South football prepare for battle

    by KTVA Sports on Oct 21, 8:48

    A pair of familiar rivals will duke it out for high school football’s biggest prize this weekend.

  • News

    Autopsy being performed on Sitka drowning victim

    by Associated Press on Oct 21, 8:40

    An autopsy is being conducted on a man who drowned in the ANB Harbor in Sitka. The Daily Sitka Sentinel reports (http://is.gd/r7uhKh) 41-year-old Richard T. Hatten was unresponsive when he was pulled from the water last Thursday. Friends found him in the water near the dock and pulled him out. Efforts to revive him were […]