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After months of recovering, fish displaced by Eagle Creek Fire find way back home

1 million Coho Salmon were moved to the Leaburg Hatchery in wake of the Eagle Creek Fire.

OREGON - Last summer's wildfires caused evacuation alerts and endangered many residents in Oregon. The fires also affected fish and wildlife, including 1 million Coho salmon along the Columbia River Gorge.

Now, after months of recovering, these fish are finally going back to where they belong.

The devastation of the Eagle Creek Fire led to a threat of mud slides and debris flow, endangering the fish in their original home, the Cascade Locks Hatchery, making the Leaburg Hatchery their temporary place of residence.

In order to move the whole lot, the fish were placed into huge semi trucks filled with water, ready for 300 miles of travel up north.

"We raised them up to the size they needed to be released, and now we're sending them to the rivers where they will be released to," said Corey Loftis, Assistant Manager at the Leaburg Hatchery.

Loftis says that the hatchery normally works with Rainbow Trout and Steelhead, but their happy to work with this species.

"We are glad we had the space and the ability to take them on," said Loftis. "Personally, it was a good experience not having worked with Coho before."

The Fish and Wildlife officials at the hatchery made sure that no fish got left behind, promising them a safe return back home.

With wildfire season only months away, Loftis says they are ready in case another situation like last year's happens again.

According to Fish and Wildlife officials, there was a minimal loss of fish throughout the whole process, making the transition a huge success.

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