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The hatchery, known by locals as DIPAC (Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc.), was ingeniously designed to allow visitors to watch the whole process of harvesting and fertilizing eggs from outdoor decks. From mid-June to October, salmon swim up a 450-foot fish ladder, visible through a window, into a sorting mechanism, then are "unzipped" by workers who remove the eggs. Guides and exhibits explain what's happening. During that period, you can often see seals and other wildlife feeding on the returning salmon just offshore from the hatchery. Inside, large and realistic saltwater aquariums and touch tanks show off the area's marine life as it looks in the natural environment. The tour is less impressive in May and June, before the fish are running. At that time, visitors see the immature salmon before their release and get to feed them. The tours don't take long; allow 45 minutes for your entire visit.