The state Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has signed off on placing the Puyallup Trout Hatchery on the Washington Heritage Register, the state’s listing of historic sites and structures.
The council also recommends that the hatchery, which dates to the 1940s and was the focus of a recent community preservation effort, be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Federal officials likely will give approval in a few months, said Michael Houser, the state’s architectural historian.
He praised the community group that formed to work on enhancing and preserving the facility on Clarks Creek, saying Thursday that members “stepped up to the plate for the hatchery, to get its significance recognized.”
The state advisory council met that morning at Puyallup City Hall. Several Puyallup residents, City Council members and other officials were on hand.
“It’s a special day,” Paula Harmes, the resident who nominated the hatchery, said by phone afterward. She said the historic designations will complement the work of the newly formed nonprofit Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation by bolstering its chances to obtain grants.
“It’s pretty much everything that we had wished for, worked for and hoped for,” added City Councilman Steve Vermillion.
About 270,000 rainbow trout are raised at the state-owned hatchery annually, and planted in lakes around Pierce, Thurston and King counties for fishing.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife officials this spring considered leasing it to a commercial seafood company to save money in tight financial times. But they suspended negotiations after residents raised objections. The residents worried about potential loss of public access and damage to Clarks Creek.
Leaders of the nonprofit hatchery foundation said Thursday that an agreement outlining how their group will work with Fish and Wildlife on the hatchery is nearly in place.sara.schilling@ thenewstribune.com 253-552-7058 blog.thenewstribune.com/street