About the National Fish Hatchery System
Fish and Aquatic Conservation

National Fish Hatchery System

Information iconReleasing Chinook salmon smolts at Livingston National Fish Hatchery. (Photo: Steve Martarano/USFWS)

Work of the National Fish Hatchery System improves recreational fishing and public use of aquatic resources, recovery of federally listed threatened or endangered species, restoration of imperiled species, like the Texas blind salamander, and fulfillment of tribal partnerships and trust responsibilities.

Fish and wildlife staff work to maintain excellence in aquatic conservation and to ensure healthy fisheries. They closely monitor the health, status, and trends of fisheries populations and aquatic habitats; and limit the outbreak and spread of invasive species and disease-causing pathogens, or germs.

70 National Fish Hatcheries across the nation work with states and tribes to produce and distribute fish for recreational and conservation purposes, and provide refuge for endangered species. The hatcheries also provide outdoor opportunities from fishing events and tours to numerous education activities.

7 Fish Technology and 9 Health Centers guide fisheries conservation practices. The Fish Technology Centers assist hatcheries by improving conservation techniques and methods. Scientists at Fish Health Centers monitor the health of fish and amphibians in captivity and in the wild, and prescribe remedies as needed.

The Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (AADAP) is part of the Fish and Aquatic Conservation program’s fish health work. It is the only program in the United States dedicated to obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of new medications needed when raising fish at a facility and in protecting fishery resources.

Information iconGathering Atlantic salmon eggs for spawning at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery. (Photo: USFWS)