The Hagerman National Fish Hatchery (NFH) is located along the Snake River, about 30 miles west of Twin Falls, Idaho at a point three miles south and two miles east of Hagerman, Idaho. The hatchery was authorized by 46 Stat, 371 on May 21, 1930 and was established in 1932. Construction of the physical facilities commenced in 1932, and fish production began in 1933. The primary goal of the Hatchery, at that time, was the production of rainbow trout for stocking in Idaho, eastern Oregon, and northern Nevada.
In the late 1970's the hatchery became part of the Lower Snake River Fish and Wildlife Compensation Plan (LSRCP) which was authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1976, Public Law 94-587. This plan was designed to mitigate for fish and wildlife losses caused by the construction of four dams on the lower Snake River. For its part in the Compensation Plan, the hatchery's primary production goal was changed from resident rainbow trout to steelhead trout. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service entered into an agreement with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to annually rear 340,000 pounds of summer steelhead trout at 4 to 5 fish per pound (8 inches) at Hagerman NFH. To implement the new production goals, the hatchery was rebuilt and expanded, at a cost of $7.0 million, by the Corps of Engineers from June 1982 through April 1984.
There are 102 outside raceways at the hatchery. Of these, 66 are devoted to LSRCP steelhead production and 12 are reserved for other programs which the Fish and Wildlife Service deems appropriate. The remaining 24 raceways are not in use at this time. Other major facilities include two hatchery-rearing buildings with a total of 66 rearing tanks, an administration-visitor facility building, a combination shop/four-stall garage, four residences, an oil/paint storage building, and two general storage buildings. Co-located within the hatchery grounds is the Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station. This research facility is owned and operated by the University of Idaho.
The hatchery's water supply is spring-fed at a constant 59 degrees Fahrenheit with a flow rate of approximately 30,000 gallons per minute. Water rights, under Idaho law, are both statutory and constitutional. A total of 17 spring sources are identified on the Fish and Wildlife Service property.