Tag – you’re it!
Fish marker Gladys Berge of the Hoh Valley, Wash., clips the tiny adipose fins from 9-month-old spring chinook salmon to mark them as hatchery fish at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery on Saturday.
Berge has manually marked fish since 1998, but most of the actual clip tagging and placement of the one-eighth-inch-long coded wire nose tags is done these days by computerized machines. An automated trailer and team of technicians from the Columbia River Fisheries Program will spend the next two weeks tagging 600,000 juvenile salmon in the Methow before moving on to other hatcheries.
The Vancouver, Wash.-based program marks 30 million fish a year at hatcheries in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Photo by Laurelle Walsh