Columbia Springs

Vancouver Trout Hatchery
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Vancouver Trout Hatchery

About the Hatchery

The Vancouver Trout Hatchery was built at this location in 1938 for a very specific reason: Spring water bubbling up at the base of the Columbia Slope provides a constant supply of cold, clean water that’s ideal for raising trout and salmon. Like most hatcheries, the trout and steelhead raised here are planted in local waterways to provide recreational fishing opportunities. 

Columbia Springs works in partnership with WDFW to maintain and improve this historic site. WDFW rears hundreds of thousands of steelhead, rainbow trout, and chum salmon yearly. The Chum Salmon we raise is part of a statewide recovery program to help bring back this keystone species. Rainbow trout feed the fisheries in Lacamas Lake, Battle Ground Lake, and Klineline Lake, encouraging families to fish. The Salmon in the Classroom program also rears coho salmon, which are released into Salmon Creek yearly.


Learning about the unique history, hydrology, and hatchery operations at Columbia Springs can help visitors make more meaningful connections with our site. 

History of the

Vancouver Trout Hatchery

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Hatchery Facts

Built in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration during President Roosevelt’s New Deal program.

Fish arrive as eggs November through January. As fingerlings, they are transferred to round ponds outdoors and then to rectangular “raceways.”

Development in nearby areas has decreased natural water flow to the hatchery by 80-90%.

The average water flow into the hatchery is 1637 gallons per minute.

Operated by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Each year 300,000 steelhead, 80,000 rainbow trout, and 400,000 chum salmon are raised.