Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bonneville Lock & Dam and Fish Hatchery

We arrived just in time for the guided talk and then tour of the powerhouse. Bonneville hydropower can provide the power needs for 500,000 Northwest homes. It was dedicated in 1937 by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a public works project during the Great Depression.


small museum in the powerhouse

playing around an old generator part
replica of Bonneville Lock & Dam behind

Shannon chatting up alternative power with the guide
We were the last people to leave the powerhouse building. Shannon answered a question correctly that only 4 others had gotten right in the 7 years that the guide had been volunteering. He wondered if Shannon worked in the industry. Nope, just a hobby. :)

We walked past the fish ladders outside and viewed them through large windows swimming past the fish counter inside. Funny to see the fish squeezing through that narrow opening one by one, and such a large amount each year! We also watched a film of a family pleasure boat going through the lock. This is a National Historic Landmark, so the girls completed more pages for a badge.

We picked up a Self-Tour Brochure at Bonneville Fish Hatchery and entered the Egg Incubation Building. Salmon eggs are incubated here starting in October. Next we watched various sized trout and sturgeon swimming around in the White Sturgeon Pond and Enclosed Viewing Center."Hermon the Sturgeon" is over 10 ft long, over 450 pounds, & over 70 years old!

We walked past the Rainbow Trout Ponds (though they're not raised here for distribution), and into the Spawning Room. In Sept, Oct, & Nov workers collect and "spawn" the adult salmon, so the room was quiet & empty today. However we watched a very interesting (almost gross) video of workers collecting eggs and mixing with sperm to fertilize for incubation. 

Fantastic field trip!

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