It's a tall order to fill.
250,000 Chinook Salmon will be stocked into Lake Sakakawea next spring.
But staff members are ahead of the curve at Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery.
Over one million Chinook Salmon eggs have been collected so far this season.
About half will survive to be released next spring, and those not released here will restock salmon populations in neighboring states.
Flooding in South Dakota has dwindled the salmon population there, so this week, South Dakota State Game and Fish Department will be at the Garrison hatchery to help restock.
Chinook Salmon will die after they've spawned, so they return to the place of their birth only one time, usually around their third year.
(Rob Holm, Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery) "Here at the hatchery, this is where they hatch, so the smell of the water is what they imprint to. So no matter where they're stocked, when it comes time to spawn, they're looking for our water source and that's what gives them the drive to come up all the way from Pierre to the dam here and follow this little creek, through culverts and into our concrete catch kettles. They're thinking they're going home. And I guess they are going home and we're going to renew that cycle of life right here at the hatchery."
The public is welcome to hike the one and a half mile trail system around the hatchery, take a detour to see the salmon swim up stream and even watch the spawn collection Tuesday or Friday this week.