Prairie Creek Fish Hatchery, Hwy. 101, Orick, Humboldt County, CA
Significance: The Prairie Creek Fish Hatchery (PCFH) is representative of the nature of pre-World War II functions of hatcheries in California and illustrative of significant changes in hatchery goals and infrastructure in postwar years. Although built in the 1930s, it has more in common with 19th century hatchery facilities than it does with those built after 1946. Attributes it shared with earlier hatcheries were its small size, localized region of release, design to hatch and release fingerlings, purpose to stock streams rather than mitigate dam construction, provision of housing for workers, dependence on simple technology with minimal need for power, and funding through fishing licenses and related fees. Its period of significance is 1936-1946. Prairie Creek Fish Hatchery is significant as one of only three fish hatcheries known to both survive among the 150 hatcheries built in California from 1871 to 1946 and to still possess integrity. PCFH was among the last built before a major state program of modernization and mechanization begun in 1947.
Survey number: HAER CA-334
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 00000034