POULSBO, Wash. (AP) — People lined up with coolers Monday to wait for free fish as coho and chum salmon returned to spawn at a hatchery on Washington's Kitsap Peninsula.
Workers at Grovers Creek Hatchery, northwest of Seattle, netted several dozen fish from the pond and harvested eggs from female chum salmon.
Each fish was scanned for electronic tags, measured and counted. The hatchery then gave away the salmon, with a limit of one per person due to the limited runs early in the season. Those who didn't get a fish Monday were advised to come back later.
The hatchery, run by the Suquamish Tribe, is one of at least a few tribal hatcheries in Washington with a salmon give-away program.
Others plant salmon carcasses back in rivers, where eagles feast on them. The carcasses break down into nutrients that feed insects, which further feed young salmon.