Staff and volunteers of the Richard Cronin National Salmon Station have the unique responsibility of capturing and retrieving the Connecticut River’s returning adult Atlantic salmon. Every spring, the wild fish are trucked from the river and its tributaries to the hatchery where they are held safely through summer. In the fall, these fish are mated using techniques that maximize genetic diversity. The eggs are incubated on site and then distributed to other state and federal hatcheries throughout the watershed as part of the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Program Restoration Program.
The station allows public viewing of domestic Atlantic salmon in an outside raceway system. Special needs and veterans fishing programs are offered. Additionally staff supports educational programming in western Massachusetts through the Atlantic Salmon Egg Rearing program and station tours.