The Prairie Creek Fish Hatchery near Orick, Humboldt County
was one of the first small local fish hatcheries developed to improve the area’s sport and commercial fishing, and is one of only three remaining hatcheries built in California from 1871 to 1946.
During a survey of north coast streams in 1927, coast cutthroat trout eggs were discovered on Lost Man Creek above the confluence with Prairie Creek. About a year later, traps and a temporary hatchery were built. By the spring of 1928, they had 30 troughs for the 208,000 Coho salmon and 1,400,000 steelhead eggs collected. The constant stream of fresh water needed was delivered through 12-inch flume that was nearly 2,500 feet long from behind a dam on Lost Man Creek. The early success of the temporary hatchery resulted in the continuation of the hatchery experiment during the early 1930s and hatchery steelhead, cutthroat trout, Coho salmon, and King salmon, were released to the wild.