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All About Puyallup Fish Hatchery

Fish are an essential part of the environment, and many people don’t understand their role until they learn more about the lifespan of fish. That’s what the Puyallup Fish Hatchery strives to teach visitors. This tourist destination is a well-known secret in the area, and locals are working hard to make it a must-see for everyone that visits the city.

The History of the Hatchery

It may surprise you to learn that the Puyallup Fish Hatchery has been in existence since 1949. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife built the hatchery to help supply trout to the nearby lakes. Trout are hatched, raised, and eventually released.


No one thought much about the hatchery for many decades. It ran according to plan without a hitch. However, in 2012, there were talks of transforming the facility for more commercial operations. Residents of the area were upset by this news and rallied together to fight for the hatchery. They succeeded, and the hatchery remains under government operation.


As a result of the public outcry, the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation came into existence. The number one goal of this non-profit organization is to maintain and preserve the fish hatchery for many years to come. Residents are welcome to support the foundation by becoming paying members.

How the Hatchery Works

Trout are a vital part of the lakes around Puyallup. However, for these fish to thrive, they need ideal living conditions. The fish hatchery ensures the water is free of pathogens and the perfect temperature. Once the fish reach a certain age, they are released.


While trout is still the number one fish at the hatchery, other species are bred here as well. During the 1990s, bass, cutthroat, and salmon were also raised in the holding tanks. Today, rainbow trout, steelhead, and brown trout are the most popular.


The total number of fish released varies each year. Back in 1950, only 28,744 pounds were stocked into local waters. That’s the lowest number on record. In 1993, however, a record high was reached. During that year, 171,610 pounds of fish were raised and released.


The Puyallup Fish Hatchery also serves as an educational tool for students in the city. Younger grades regularly take field trips to learn about the life cycle of fish. Older students may participate in job shadowing opportunities. Workers teach students important life skills, including responsibility and hard work. Not only does this volunteer experience help students complete their senior project, but it also gives them a better understanding of how the ecosystem works.

General Information

The Puyallup Fish Hatchery is a short drive from the Washington State Fair. In fact, it’s only 14 blocks away. The facility features 80 acres of natural habitat. Visitors can tour the hatchery daily from 8 am until dusk. There are plenty of trails and ponds to see. The hatchery is a beautiful place to go for a hike.


In October, you’re welcome to attend the Salmon Homecoming. This event celebrates the salmon returning to their birth waters in Clarks Creek. If you want to visit a relaxing yet educational place, then the hatchery should be at the top of your list. Return 

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