Chinook Broodstock stolen from Sol Duc Hatchery
Chinook broodstock that were to be used for the Quileute Tribe and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Sol Duc River Chinook programs were stolen on three separate occasions in June and July. On June 3rd, June 17th, and July 12th a total of 39 adult Chinook were taken. The robberies occurred during the night and the fish were taken from circular holding tanks inside the fenced and barbed wired broodstock holding compound at Sol Duc Hatchery. On at least two occasions an additional unknown number were stolen from the adult trap at Sol Duc Hatchery.
The robbery that occurred on July 12th included 15 adult Chinook that the Quileute Tribe had collected from the Sol Duc River to compensate for previously stolen fish.
The tribe and Sol Duc Hatchery staff took measures following the third robbery to ensure there would not be a fourth. Quileute Natural Resources (QNR) enforcement put in several nights of security as did additional QNR personnel and Sol Duc Hatchery personnel. QNR also purchased and installed infrared game cameras to record any suspicious activity. While the above steps were being taken, WDFW designed and installed a security system that will set off alarms if there is unauthorized entry to the broodstock holding compound.
The loss of broodstock due to these thefts could have jeopardized the Quileute Tribe and WDFW’s Chinook programs. Additionally, the stolen fish were not safe for human consumption. They were injected with two types of medication that are not for human consumption and could have unknown consequences to those consuming these fish.
At this time approximately 230 Chinook broodstock have been collected which will enable the tribe and WDFW to meet their program goals.