Willapa Bay RFEG has a long-running program of installing Remote Site Incubators (RSIs) in streams in their region. RSIs are stocked with fish eggs, and incubate them with fresh streamwater to ensure a high survival rate of the eggs.
Sometimes, this program serves to enhance and support the fish production in the stream. And sometimes, the RSIs are installed in streams that have recently had habitat restoration projects done, with an aim at helping to restore a fun that has been unable to thrive for some time.
The RSI research site on Oxbow creek has served for many years to produce normal timed coho. The volunteers of Willapa Bay RFEG are starting to rear 50K chum and 50K late coho from this site and will do so for 6-9 years depending on return size being observed in future years.
The research aspect of the project is to monitor the existing normal timed coho run (produced via RSI efforts in previous years) and observe the stability of that population while we introduce chum and late coho in the system.
Willapa’s RSI program is volunteer-driven. Volunteers install, maintain and monitor the units. The photo at the top shows volunteer Bob Merkle teaching Kayce Borden about the system and the bio-rings we use for substrate. The other man in the right side of the photo is his grandfather, Kelly Borden, who is a Willapa Bay RFEG board member.