Creating fish hatcheries was an important part of Tacoma Power’s recent expansion of its Lake Cushman Hydroelectric Project. Schnabel was retained to plan and design two new state-of-the-art hatcheries and served as the lead engineering design consultant responsible for the supply, treatment, and storage of the hatcheries’ water, including yard piping, pump stations, and aeration/degassing systems.

Our design team finalized all bioengineering for both facilities and prepared permit packages and drawings for local, state, and federal permits. During construction, we provided extensive office engineering support including review of submittals and shop drawings, requests for information, and change order review. In addition, we provided full-time resident engineering for the work.

Completed in December 2015, the 1.1-acre Saltwater Park Hatchery raises up to 2 million sockeye annually on the shore of Hood Canal using Cornell circular tanks for adult holding and final rearing. Water for incubation, rearing, and adult holding is supplied from a spring emanating from the hillside west of the Cushman No. 2 Powerhouse. Completed in 2016, the 3-acre North Fork Hatchery rears spring Chinook, coho, and steelhead on Lake Kokanee. A rehabilitated well system provides incubation water while a surface water pumping station supplies rearing water.

In total, 76 Cornell circular raceways were used for both adult holding and juvenile rearing. The advantages of Cornell circulars include better fish health, lower labor, and reduced cost of effluent treatment and disposal. Our design took advantage of all these attributes and went on to pioneer new solids-flushing and flow-control systems for circular raceways that has since become the standard for Cornell circulars in the Pacific Northwest.