California Department of Fish and Wildlife
photo of Crystal Lake fish hatchery sign

Crystal Lake Trout Hatchery

Return of the Native Eagle Lake Trout!

Crystal Lake Hatchery was formerly named Burney Creek Hatchery, and was constructed by P.G.& E. as part of their agreement in lieu of fish ladders on power dams constructed in the Pit River. The Hatchery was located on the Burney Creek arm of Lake Britton, ½ mile downstream from Burney Falls.

Hatchery operations began in 1927 with 100 troughs capable of raising million of fingerlings trout. High cost of operation and poor condition of the hatchery buildings and residences did not permit further use of the hatchery and in September of 1949, all usable equipment was transferred to what is now know as Crystal Lake Hatchery.

Crystal Lake Hatchery is located on Baum Lake, near Cassel, in eastern Shasta County. The installation was built in 1947-48 on 40 acres of land owned by P.G.& E. it was the first major project financed by Wildlife Conservation Board Funds. The hatchery consisted of 28 dirt ponds, 6 residences, a utility building, garage, shop and office.

The Hatchery was modernized in 1976 and today has 66 concrete rearing ponds that annually raise 1,500,000 fish weighing approximately 500,000 pounds. The Hatchery has 2 water supplies with Rock Creek producing 18-23 cubic feet per second, and Crystal Lake having 50 cubic feet per second available, but only using 6-8 cubic feet per second. The Hatchery produces various species of trout including Rainbow, Eagle Lake, Brown, and Brook. In addition, Crystal Lake has a Broodstock Program and is also responsible for the Eagle Lake spawning program at Pine Creek. The eggs taken at Pine Creek Trap are raised at both Crystal Lake and Darrah Springs Hatcheries for return into Eagle Lake and various other waters.

Crystal Lake Hatchery with its staff of eight permanent employees, plants approximately 60 waters in the Northern California – North Coast Region throughout the year, covering Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties. About one third of the hatchery's production is planted or transferred to other areas of the state.