Herman the Sturgeon and the Bonneville Hatchery
Bonneville Hatchery was first named “Central Hatchery” and was built in 1909.
The hatchery receives thousands of visitors daily. The average number of
visitors to the hatchery each year is one million people, from all over the
The hatchery raises 8 million Fall Chinook, 1.2 million Coho, 200 thousand
Summer Steelhead, and 60 thousand Winter Steelhead. Adult salmon begin arriving
at the hatchery in September and are then sorted through before spawning begins.
Spawning begins during the last week in October and continues until the
beginning of December. As part of their natural life cycle all Pacific Northwest
Salmon die after spawning.
There are also at least 40 different species of birds to view at Bonneville Fish
Herman the Sturgeon and Sturgeon Viewing Center
Beyond the outdoor sturgeon pond there is a small white building that you can
walk into. This is the Sturgeon Viewing Center, which was built in 1998. Herman
the Sturgeon is located in the Sturgeon Viewing Center and is approximately 10’
long, 425 pounds and over 60 years old.
There is one outdoor pond that has young sturgeon in it.Sturgeon like to eat
live things that have died! They eat their food off of the bottom of the pond.
The Sturgeon is a prehistoric fish and is a “cartilaginous” fish. This means
they have no bones! This is like a shark or an eel.
Two ponds have Rainbow Trout in them. We do not raise trout here at Bonneville
Fish Hatchery; these Trout are brought here for your enjoyment.
There are machines by the ponds where you can buy fish food for a quarter to
feed the trout.The money from these machines is used to keep the hatchery
grounds beautiful for visitors.