HUMPTULIPS, Wash. - The Humptulips Fish Hatchery will seek funding for a fish clipping crew, due to low volunteer turnout to get the coho and Chinook fry marked prior to their release. With 500-thousand of each, Ken Isaksson from the Department of Fish and Wildlife was hoping to clip 35,000 fish per day. Isakson said after the first two days he saw only 27,000 total clipped and was forced to resort to the more conventional, expensive method of hiring a crew.
Isaksson tells us severe budget cuts at the fishery have limited their ability to fund the mass marking, which is the removal of the adipose fin from each hatchery fish.
Volunteers are working against time, as the markings have to be completed before water temperatures reach 60 degrees. If the fish are not marked, they cannot be released into Washington rivers.