A transitional phase occurred between 2006 and 2011 during which the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provided a manager for Kooskia NFH while the Tribe developed staffing for the hatchery. In February, the Tribe hired its manager making all four positions at KNFH Tribal employees.
With all hatchery staff under Tribal management, hatchery practices have begun to take on new values and direction while maintaining the Service's original mitigation for spring Chinook at KNFH. In 2011 the hatchery produced more fish than before with a release of 650,000 spring Chinook smolts; in addition, 700,000 Coho smolts were acclimated and released into Clear Creek. Hatchery staff work closely with the NPT Clearwater Coho Restoration project to trap and hold adult Coho for spawning, egg production, and fry rearing before transport to Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (DNFH) for summer/winter rearing. Recently 600,000 Coho fry were shipped from KNFH to the Dworshak hatchery.
During the prior 4 years, the Service provided $2 million to improve weir, biofilter, chiller, incubation, wells and pumps. Recently, a new more efficient backup generator for power to ensure the hatchery always has water was installed. The improvements help both parties support of the fishery resource. The Tribe and Service are looking at new ways to increase hatchery production and at the same time, still produce the high quality product KNFH has always been known for.