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Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery
Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery

Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery

Each year over a thousand Chinook salmon pass through the world’s longest wooden fish ladder at the Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery. The fish ladder is part of their journey from the Bering Sea back to their home waters to spawn. This 1,200-foot (366-meter chute allows the salmon to bypass the Whitehorse Dam and is a popular spot to watch the salmon run.

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Whitehorse Fishway, Whitehorse, Canada, YT

The basics

A large underwater viewing window at the Whitehorse Fish Ladder allows you to watch a variety of Yukon fish making their way upstream. You’ll learn about the salmon run and other Yukon species from interpretive displays throughout the building. Several underwater cameras and TV monitors also show the fish migrating through the ladder in real-time. Just downstream from the ladder, the Whitehorse Fish Hatchery is also open to visitors, but advanced reservations are required.

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Things to know before you go

  • This fish ladder is one of Whitehorse’s most popular tourist stops.
  • There is no admission fee, but a small donation is suggested.
  • Don’t miss the locally created fish artwork found outside the interpretive center.
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How to get there

The Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery is located along the east side of the Yukon River just south of downtown Whitehorse. Ample parking is available at the hatchery. Alternatively, you can take public transportation or follow the riverside trail from downtown.

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When to get there

The Whitehorse Fish Ladder is open daily from June through early September. The attraction is typically open from 9am to 5pm, but is open later while the salmon are running. The first salmon are expected around the beginning of August each year. You can view the Whitehorse Rapids fish cam online to see if the fish are running prior to your visit.

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How the Whitehorse Fish Ladder Works

The Whitehorse Fish Ladder is a series of ascending pools that span 50 feet (15 meters) high. The fish swim through or jump to each step resting in pools before jumping to the next step until they are eventually out of the ladder. About halfway up the ladder, the fish enter a holding area where they can be viewed in the observation window and details such as type, size, and condition are noted by hatchery staff.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery?
Attractions near Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery: