Fin Clipping Trailer
Per Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife policy, all hatchery-origin Chinook and coho are marked by the removal of the adipose fin. That marking activity is going on right now at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery! Monica is in charge of this brand-new automated facility, which can mark (clip the adipose) and/or tag (insert a coded wire tag in the snout) over 40,000 fry per day. They are electronically measured for length, and routed to the appropriate-sized clipper for an exact fit. The quick and exact process makes a ‘bad clip’ very rare. These fish are not anesthetized, and routed quickly back to their rearing pond. Only about 1% cannot be handled automatically, and have to be lightly anesthetized so they can be tagged by hand.