Nisqually Fish Programs

To help protect native fish populations, enhance salmon habitat and provide fishing and other recreation, the Nisqually River Project oversees the following fish programs.

Kokanee Fishery

Since 1999, Tacoma Power has stocked Alder Lake, located behind Alder Dam, with up to 500,000 kokanee every spring to provide fishing opportunities. Kokanee, which are landlocked sockeye salmon, live in the lake for two to three years before spawning in nearby streams. The lake also has thriving populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie and yellow perch. See our kokanee fishing brochure to learn more about fishing at Alder Lake.

Salmon Habitat Improvement

We release water from LaGrande Dam into the Nisqually River to enhance fish habitat downstream of the dam. These released flows are higher than naturally occurring flows in the summer and fall. This helps create more spawning habitat for Chinook and coho salmon and allows fish to distribute more broadly throughout the river.

In addition, we fund the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Clear Creek Hatchery, which produces about four million Chinook smolts and one million coho smolts each year. As a result, about 12,000 adult Chinook and up to 4,000 adult coho return to the hatchery annually.