The Nez Perce Tribal hatchery "NI MII PU CUY’EEMNIM SEPEEPYIMNIWEES" (A place to cause fish to grow) helps restore naturally reproducing populations of spring and fall Chinook salmon in the Clearwater River basin. The hatchery helps preserve the genetic integrity of these fish populations and, in the long term, establish harvest opportunities for tribal and non-tribal anglers.
On tribal lands next to the Clearwater River, the hatchery currently produces 1.4 million fall Chinook and 825,000 spring Chinook salmon annually. Several semi-natural rearing techniques are used to encourage the hatchery reared fish to behave like wild fish. The hatchery releases juvenile salmon at several locations throughout the basin to encourage their return as adults.
At these release sites, the fish imprint on natural stream water so they will return to that location to spawn. All sites were selected based on habitat that can support spring and fall Chinook and are within areas where tribal fishing traditionally occurred.