Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District

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Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District
Lake Fish Hatchery, Yellowstone.jpg
Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District is located in Wyoming
Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District
Location Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming
Coordinates 44°32′58″N 110°24′13″W / 44.54944°N 110.40361°W / 44.54944; -110.40361Coordinates: 44°32′58″N 110°24′13″W / 44.54944°N 110.40361°W / 44.54944; -110.40361
Built 1930
Architect U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Architectural style Other
MPS Yellowstone National Park MPS
NRHP Reference # 85001416
Added to NRHP June 25, 1985[1]

The Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District comprises nine buildings built between 1930 and 1932 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the National Park Service Rustic style. The buildings exhibit a consistency of style and construction, with exposed gable trusses and oversized paired logs at the corners, all with brown paint.[2] The district is located on the shore of Yellowstone lake near the Lake Hotel[3] The hatchery was established to provide Yellowstone cutthroat trout eggs for state and federal hatcheries outside of Yellowstone.[4]


By the early 20th century, a number of hatcheries were established in the park by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries including hatcheries at Yellowstone Lake and Soda Butte Creek. The current Lake Fish Hatchery replaced an earlier hatchery at Lake. These hatcheries not only produced stocks for the park, but also took advantage of the great spawning stock of Yellowstone cutthroat trout to supply eggs to hatcheries around the U.S. Between 1901 and 1953, 818 million trout eggs were exported from the park to hatcheries throughout the U.S.[5]

The hatcheries and stocking operations had both positive and negative impacts on the quality of angling in Yellowstone National Park in the first half of the 20th century. Many native populations were displaced by non-natives, but there was quality brown and rainbow trout fishing in the Firehole, Madison and Gibbon rivers. Ultimately stocking and hatchery operations negatively impacted Yellowstone cutthroat, westslope cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling populations in the park. In 1953 the National Park Service began closing the hatcheries and stopping stocking operations. The last fish stocked for the benefit of anglers was in 1955 after some 310 million fish had been released in park waters since 1889. The last hatchery was closed in 1957.[6][7]


The chief building of the district is Building 725, the South District Office for the park and the former Fish and Wildlife Service messhall. The 1,588-square-foot (147.5 m2) building was built in 1935 using a "logs out" technique of construction, in which the log frame is exposed on the outside and the sheathing is set in, giving the interior a smooth wall finish. Building 726 was the hatchery, built in a similar style about 1930 and transferred to the Park Service in 1959. The one story building encloses about 3,464 square feet (321.8 m2). An arched log truss is a prominent feature of the end elevation, together with a rubblestone chimney. Building 729 was an office and summer residence for the Fish and Wildlife Service's hatchery director. Built in 1932, the 2,173-square-foot (201.9 m2) one story building matches its neighbors, in an L-shaped plan. Buildings 730 and 731 are smaller residences, built about 1931. Building 732, a garage, was built in 1930 with six bays. Building 733 was a FWS bunkhouse, built in 1930 with about 2,295 square feet (213.2 m2). Building 735, a wash house, and 737, an oil house, complete the ensemble.[4]

The district was originally under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but with the cessation of hatchery operations, it is now owned by the National Park Service. The hatchery messhall became the office for the southern district of the park. The former bunkhouse also became Park Service offices.[4] The Lake Hatchery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1985[1]

Lake Fish Hatchery buildings

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Kaiser, Harvey (1997). "Landmarks in the Landscape", San Francisco: Chronicle Books ISBN 0-8118-1854-3, p. 147
  3. ^ "Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District". National Register of Historic Places. Wyoming State Preservation Office. 2008-10-24. 
  4. ^ a b c Susan A. Tenney (January 6, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District" (pdf). National Park Service. 
  5. ^ Franke, Mary Ann (Fall 1996). "A Grand Experiment-100 Years of Fisheries Management in Yellowstone: Part I". Yellowstone Science 4 (4): 6. 
  6. ^ Franke, Mary Ann (Fall 1996). "A Grand Experiment-100 Years of Fisheries Management in Yellowstone: Part I". Yellowstone Science 4 (4): 4. 
  7. ^ Franke, Mary Ann (Winter 1997). "A Grand Experiment-The Tide Turns in the 1950s: Part II". Yellowstone Science 5 (1): 8. 

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