About 160 adult Chinook salmon being transported from Sawtooth Fish Hatchery to the Yankee Fork to spawn naturally, died Wednesday, August 28.
The fish were loaded at the Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley and driven to the Yankee Fork where they were released. A Fish and Game employee noticed many were stressed and dying. The cause appears to have been a lack of oxygen that may have been the result of an employee error in operating the transport truck's life support systems.
An additional 32 females were to be transported to the Yankee Fork Friday, and the effect of the incident on future smolt and adult production is expected to be minimal.
Fish and Game is reviewing procedures for moving fish for transplant.
"Although this won't have a significant impact on future production, we want to ensure this doesn't happen again," said Gary Byrne, fish production manager at Idaho Fish and Game.