Fisheries Project

Steve Meshke
2001 Marine Drive, Room 253
Astoria, OR 97103

(503) 325-6452

Fisheries Project

Fisheries Project

The Clatsop County Fisheries Project is a collaborative, non-commercial effort by the county government, fishing Fisher and buyer in Youngs Bayindustry and state and federal agencies to develop a new fishery of premium-quality salmon that does not interfere with wild salmon runs and can be harvested without adversely affecting endangered native stocks.


The Fisheries Project functions as a research and production program.  Staff, with help from the fishing community, is experimenting with various methods to improve fish survival.


Fisheries Project staff happily provide tours and presentations to visiting students from schools and colleges throughout the United States.


The South Fork Klaskanine River Restoration Project  is a collaborative effort among local, state, and federal agencies, programs, and individuals to restore habitat and upstream migration for wild trout and salmonids. The project restores upstream access to spawning and rearing habitats by removing a channel spanning concrete diversion dam and replacing it with a low-head diversion that allows the Clatsop County hatchery to obtain its water while providing fish with unimpeded upstream migration. In addition, the project provided a fish screen, stabilized the streambed against a headcut by re-building channel features, and provided instream habitat complexity. A total of 3.1 miles of spawning and rearing habitat on the South Fork and another low gradient tributary was made accessible for fish.


HOW TO CONTACT US:Project staff placing eggs in trays for incubation.

  • Reach us by phone at: (503) 325-6452
  • Fax us at: (503) 325-2753
  • E-mail us at:
  • Mail your inquiries to:

    Clatsop County Fisheries Project
    2001 Marine Drive, Room 253
    Astoria, OR 97103




As native salmon runs on the Lower Columbia River diminished, the community looked for a way to bolster the fishing industry, a backbone of the region's economy for generations of families. In 1976 a group of local business leaders led by retired legislator Ted Bugas and Professor Emeritus Duncan Law of Oregon State University created the Clatsop Economic Development Council (CEDC) Fisheries Project, a collaborative effort by the fishing industry and local, state, and federal agencies.

Fishing boats towing net-pens toward river mouth to release smolt.


Youngs Bay was chosen for the project because there was an existing fishery that could be enhanced. The location of the bay, off the Columbia River, reduces straying and interference with endangered native stocks.


The project's success in Youngs Bay led to the expansion into other "select" areas on the Oregon and Washington sides of the Lower Columbia. In 1993, the Select Area Fishery  Evaluation program, or SAFE, was started to investigate opportunities in the lower Columbia to raise fish in net-pens and release the fish. These pens can be placed in specific or "select" areas where sport and commercial fishing can occur while still protecting mainstem Columbia threatened or endangered stocks. The SAFE program's goal is to maximize production at all select sites to benefit the economy.



1977, first year of release:
50,000 coho

2.03 million coho
957,000 spring chinook
1.4 million select area bright fall chinook