National Fish Hatchery System facilities are visited by more than one million people each year. In addition to offering opportunities for viewing the operations and learning about fish, many hatcheries also provide picnic areas and offer other activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, sightseeing, nature study, birdwatching, and photography. 

What We Do

Conserve Aquatic Species

National Fish Hatcheries raise aquatic species to help recover endangered or threatened species, improve recreational fishing, and fulfill tribal partnership and trust responsibilities. 

Distribute Fish to States and Tribes 

The National Fish Hatchery System hatcheries stock 98 million fish every year into rivers and lakes across the country. We raise over 100 different aquatic species, from endangered pallid sturgeons to freshwater mussels. 

Advance Conservation Technology

The basis for our conservation is applied science and technology. Fish Technology Centers assist National Fish Hatcheries by improving conservation techniques and methods. We conduct practical research in animal culture biology, genetics, ecological physiology, nutrition, biometrics and modeling, and cryopreservation. 

Find a Facility Near You

What We Offer To The Public

Events and Activities

Nearly one million people visit the National Fish Hatchery System every year for incredible opportunities to hike, bird, fish, visit an aquarium, and learn more about fish conservation. 

  • Take part in a fishing derby. 
  • See a freshwater fish aquarium. 
  • Explore a nature trail. 

Community and Outreach

Our hatcheries and conservation offices partner with our neighboring communities to make a lasting difference.  

  • Volunteers - Gain new experiences and meet new people while helping to advance fish and aquatic conservation.   
  • Friends Groups - Join neighbors in helping hatcheries work effectively in our communities.   
  • Youth - Explore internship opportunities to learn and develop leadership skills. 

Learning Opportunities

We partner with schools across the country to bring fish and fishing into the classroom.  

  • Fish in the Classroom Programs. 
  • Virtual fishing and conservation lessons. 
  • In class and field trip-based programs.  

Latest Stories

Pink flowers of Nelson's checkermallow
Endangered Species Act
Celebration and Reflection on Endangered Species Day
We take pride that more than 99% of all species protected under the Endangered Species Act in its nearly 50 years are still with us. But the world faces a crisis of extinction. Climate change has added threats like sea level rise and exacerbated existing ones such as habitat loss.
Close up of a California condor. Its pink featherless head contrasts with its black feathers.
Wildlife Management
California condor chick hatches on ‘Condor Cam’
The Condor Cam returned for the seventh year with a live streaming video, and on May 14 at 05:42 am, viewers around the world got a real-time look at a hard-won conservation success story with a first sighting of a freshly hatched condor chick.
a close up photo of a fisher
Wildlife Management
5 Species Supported By The State Wildlife Grant Program
Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has distributed over $1 billion to states, territories, and D.C. through the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG). These funds are used by state and U.S. territory fish and wildlife agencies to develop and...
Pumpout Boat
$16 Million for Local Waterways and Recreational Boaters
Recreational boaters, local communities and aquatic resources will benefit from more than $16 million in grant funds, thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program. The CVA program fosters clean water and recreational access through funding to state agencies for the...
A bright yellow kayak glides through on a glass-smooth river surrounded by towering evergreen trees. In the distance ominous clouds hover in a clearing sky on the horizon.
Migratory Species
Searching for Wonder Among the Sparrows
How do biologists keep their sense of wonder for nature alive when the point of their job is to be objective and look at the facts? Read biologist Bri Benvenuti's blog to find out how.
whooping crane in water
Migratory Species
Record High Number of Whooping Cranes Wintered in Texas
Last winter, an estimated 543 whooping cranes arrived on their Texas wintering grounds after migrating 2,500 miles from their breeding grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national fish hatchery facilities.

Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery
Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery

Catch A Rainbow kids fishing derby is a  FREE event at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery for kids up to age 15. The hatchery and the Friends group partner together, along with our sponsors, to make this amazing day possible. We usually have around 1,500 registered participants and...

Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery
Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery

Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week at Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery's Angler Appreciation Day! 

Fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors with family and friends, and June 4th is a Georgia DNR FREE fishing day! Surrounded by the...

Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery
View all Events