Love to fish? Do you want to see what makes North Arkansas' spectacular trout fishing possible? Even if you simply enjoy being outdoors, you should come visit us at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. At the Norfork NFH, you can learn about the local trout production and have fun too! At Norfork NFH, there are 96 raceways outside for visitors to walk around as they please. One of which boasts some trophy size trout! You can even step inside the hatch house and take a look at the earlier stages of trout production. We also have a visitors' center with some native animals, informative materials, and even a gift shop ran by the Friends of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. The employees at Norfork NFH are always willing to help, so don't hesitate to ask questions. Don't forget to bring the kids and fishing gear as well. Dry Run Creek is right next to the hatchery and provides great fishing opportunities for your youngsters and mobility impaired individuals.
Location and Contact Information
Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been applying science-based approaches to conservation challenges. We work with our partners and engage the public to conserve, restore, and enhance fish and other aquatic resources for the continuing benefit of the American people. Conservation is at the heart of what we do, and we recognize that we do this work for the American people–both the present generation who benefit today and future generations who will inherit our legacy of conserving America’s aquatic resources.
What We Do
Resource managers across the country acknowledge hatcheries as a valuable tool for the preservation of our nation’s fishery program. Norfork NFH has done its part. Since opening in 1957, the hatchery has been a cold-water hatchery primarily to produce trout to restock the tailwaters below Norfork, Bull Shoals and other dams. Norfork NFH also provides trout to reservoirs and in cooperation with state game and fish agencies distributes fish throughout Arkansas and other nearby states.
Norfork NFH was established to raise trout for restocking areas impacted by construction of dams, primarily in the tailwaters of Norfork and Bull Shoals. The hatchery is responsible for raising three kinds of trout: rainbow, brown and cutthroat
The next time you go fishing, you might just catch a fish that was raised at Norfork NFH. Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been responding to conservation challenges affecting America’s fish and other aquatic species. Producing fish continues to be an irreplaceable tool in managing or restoring fisheries along with habitat conservation. In doing so, we help provide recreation opportunities to America’s 34 million anglers who spend $36 billion annually in pursuit of their favored pastime.
Norfork NFH produces 500,000lbs of rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and brown trout annually. The fish are stocked annually in rivers across the Southeastern Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).
In addition to raising trout, this hatchery also works in a nationwide effort in preserving threatened and endangered mussels. An estimated 70% of North America’s freshwater mussel species are extinct or endangered.
- Brown trout (Salmo trutta)*
- Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkia)*
- Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)*
- Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra)*
Projects and Research
National fish hatcheries raise fish and other aquatic species – like crayfish and mussels - to help restore and sustain important fish and other aquatic species for the benefit of the American people. Freshwater mussels play very important roles in our rivers and lakes filtering the water and creating habitat for fish and aquatic insects fish like to eat. With declining fish populations and declining freshwater mussel populations becoming prevalent across the world, fish hatchery operations are important than ever.
In addition to raising trout and assisting in mussel production Norfork NFH has the ability to assist in many different species as the needs arise.