California Department of Fish and Wildlife
geese on Baum Lake

Crystal Lake Trout Hatchery
Visitor Information

Phone: (530) 335-4111

Hours: 7am - 4pm, ALL YEAR

40158 Baum Lake Road
Cassel, CA 96016
Nine miles east of the town of Burney, then three miles south from the highway intersection. MAP

Recreational Opportunities

Hatcheries Provides More Than Fish to View

Enjoy fishing, boating, hiking, and picnicing while you visit the hatchery. The Pacific Crest trail also passes along the edge of the hatchery and many visitors stop to picnic, view the fish, and drop a line in Baum Lake.

Adult Canadian geese and their goslings enhance springtime wildlife viewing at the hatchery. Observe 200-300 geese on the hatchery grounds and along the shores of Baum Lake. Spring and summer visits also provide excellent sightings of ospreys nesting nearby. In the fall, call ahead to make sure you visit when the crew is spawning fish.


Hatchery Facility

Worker holding fish.

Brook trout, Eagle Lake trout and Pit River rainbow trout develop at the hatchery for one and a half years. They reach one-half pound before being released as catchable trout.

CDFW staff sorting fish.

Brook trout are sorted by sex as well as maturity. The fish that are mature enough to spawn will be sent on to the next step. Immature fish are placed into holding tanks until they are ready to spawn.

Workers extracting sperm from mature male fish.

"Milt" or sperm from a mature adult male is mixed with eggs from a female to complete the artificial fertilization process.

Egg jars with fertilized eggs.

Egg jars are where the fertilized eggs are placed until they hatch. The egg jars are stored in the hatchery building where the fish will be transported to nursing raceways until they are large enough to be moved to the outdoor concrete raceways.

Concrete raceways.

The fish are moved to the outside concrete raceways where they will be reared until they are about ½ pound apiece and ready to be stocked into local lakes and streams for anglers to catch.

Fish being loaded for planting.

The start of the catchable trout planting season begins in mid-April and keeps the hatchery crew busy daily throughout the summer. A fleet of trucks of various sizes carry loads of between 300 and 5,000 pounds of fish in 49-degree water to roadside creeks and lakes. Fish planting slows down when waters become too low or too warm to sustain fish.