Fisheries Project

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

(503) 325-6452



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

One strategy is to release the fish from the pens at high tide after dark. Because all the pens are influenced by daily tidal currents, the fish are flushed out by the outgoing tide. Research has shown that juvenile salmon go with the flow.


Releasing the fish under the cover of darkness significantly reduces the chance of birds eating the fish on their way to the ocean. Predation by double-crested Cormorants, Caspian terns and other birds accounts for the consumption of substantial numbers of Columbia River smolts on their route to the ocean.


In a project to reduce bird predation, project staff, in collaboration with ODFW's Gnat Creek hatchery, used a below-water feeding method to prevent fish from becoming accustomed to feeding at the surface. In another pilot project, entire net pens were floated from their estuarine site in Youngs Bay into the mainstem of the Columbia, where fish were released into deeper waters.

subsurfacing feeding


Reports and Research

All reports below are PDF documents unless otherwise noted. Clicking on the links will start the downloading process.


Select Area Fishery Enhancement Project Fiscal Year 2008-09 Annual Report


Youngs Bay Benthic Invertebrate Study 2009


Select Area Fishery Enhancement Project Fiscal Year 2007-08 Annual Report


Columbia River Fish Working Group - Selective Fisheries, October 2008


Youngs Bay Benthic Invertebrate Study 2007


Report on Reorganizational Alternatives for CEDC Fisheries Project, February 2007  


Economic Evaluation of SAFE Fisheries, November 2006


Select Area Fishery Evaluation Project Appendix A - Environmental Monitoring

Select Area Fishery Evaluation Project 2006 Annual Report - Final Revision  
1993 through 2005

Continuing Research


Research projects have included:

Fish Densities
Release Times
Winter Dormancy
Avian Predation
Size & Timing of Release
Rearing Densities
Subsurface Feeding
Adult Holding in Net-Pens
Over-summer chinook Rearing
Acoustic Tracking of Smolts
Enhancement of homing with artificial scent

Captive Brood
Release strategies to avoid conflicts