What’s Happening at the Hatchery?

Channel Catfish have been growing at the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery. The catfish on the left is from five weeks ago and weighed 6 grams while the catfish on the right is from Aug. 23 and weighed in at 21 grams. These fish will be used in future fishing derbies on and off-site (yes, they will happen again) and to replace broodstock at the facility.
The Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is a warm water station currently involved in spawning, hatching, and rearing young fish (fingerlings), turtles, and mussels. The various species are raised to a size and age which provide them with the best chance of surviving in the wild; a valuable tool in the Service’s mission of species restoration & recovery as well as enhancing recreational fishing. The hatchery is also involved in research projects for these various species including tagging and monitoring for tracking the species in the wild, fish feed trials, and improving culture and spawning techniques.
The Hatchery also has 53 outdoor ponds, averaging .8 acres in size. There is no designated walking trail, but you are welcome to walk on the levees for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, exercise, or to just enjoy being outdoors. Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is an eBird hotspot with 114 individuals species noted, come see if you can find some more.

Stop by Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery to experience its free, self guided, Aquarium exhibit. Group or individual tours are available upon request. There are also volunteer opportunities for all ages, including: kids, teens and young adults, seniors, families and groups, such as an organization or company.

Photos Credit: Lindsey Adams, USFWS.