VANCOUVER, WASH. -- The public is invited to help mark 75 years of service by the Vancouver Trout Hatchery at Columbia Springs on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Vancouver, Washington.
The free event, hosted by Columbia Springs Learning Center, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Clark Public Utilities, will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the hatchery, located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway.
Tours of the facility, owned and operated by WDFW, will be offered at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Cake and light beverages will be served.
Guy Norman, regional WDFW director and local historian Pat Jollata will speak on the current and historical economic, environmental and educational roles of the hatchery at 4 p.m.
"The hatchery has been a distinguishing feature in Vancouver for more than seven decades, says Norman. "Generations of people in this community have benefited from this facility and from its important role in area fisheries."
Built in 1938 with funding from Roosevelt’s New Deal Works Progress Administration, the hatchery has been releasing fish into Clark County lakes and streams ever since.
The hatchery is a powerful force in support of anglers and the tourism economy regionally, says John Weinheimer, a WDFW fish biologist.
"At Vancouver we grow about 23,000 brown trout and 65,000 rainbow trout each year," Weinheimer said. "These fish are released at half a pound, a great catchable trout size." In addition 275,000 summer steelhead are reared from eggs and shipped back to Skamania hatchery as fry annually, adds Weinheimer.
Mark Johnson, WDFW regional hatchery operations manager, indicates that the hatchery has traditionally supported an estimated 70,000 angler trips and approximately $2.8 million in direct expenditures by anglers each year.
The hatchery is also an educational boon to local groups who have learned about the environment in a historically significant urban setting, says Gala Miller, Columbia Springs executive director. "More than 3,500 students pass through the facility annually," says Miller. "These educational programs offered at Columbia Springs aim to foster greater awareness of the natural world and inspire stewardship."
For more information on the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (360) 882-0936, ext. 221.