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Co-op News | Spring Quarterly 2024

Columbia River Steelhead

North Coast Co-op

by Kate Lockwood; Arcata Meat Department Head

The North Coast Co-op is proud to be a provider of Columbia River Steelhead. The Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington State and Pacific Seafood started the nation’s first steelhead trout farm and hatchery to be four star certified with BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices). 

Trout and Salmon are carnivorous, and Columbia River Steelhead are fed a diet that mimics what they would eat in the wild by utilizing rendered fish proteins from the fishing industry like bones, skin and shells, that would otherwise be waste. Their diet is free of soy, and they are never given hormones, pesticides, herbicides or unnecessary antibiotics. 

Steelhead are raised in modern net pens that don’t block the flow of the river. The farm in Nespelem, WA works in collaboration with Washington Department of Wildlife, several universities and tribal authorities to determine best practices for raising the fish including regular blood tests and vaccinations to protect farmed and wild populations from potential disease. All of the steelhead raised are sterile (genetically triploid) and are incapable of breeding in the wild. Diving teams and underwater cameras are used to monitor the health and well-being of the fish and the integrity of the net pens.  

Columbia River Steelhead Farms has preferential hiring for Colville Confederated Tribal members and 50% of the employees are tribal members. 

Columbia River Steelhead Farms, Pacific Seafood and Tribal members are leading the way and changing the industry for farm raised fish. They are working diligently to produce sustainable, healthy and delicious product. It is a regular offering at the North Coast Co-op and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

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