Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery
Pacific Region


Families and Nature Let's Go Outside logo
Wenatchee River Salmon Festival activity the "Web of Life" comes alive with FWS Biologist in the lead - Photo: USFWS
Wenatchee River Salmon Festival activity the "Web of Life".

The Leavenworth Fisheries Complex (LFC) offers an active year-round public outreach and education program. Our goals include providing outreach activities that are informative and relevant to our local communities and visiting public. We promote partnerships and volunteerism and strive to teach others how to improve stewardship of our natural resources. In doing so, we also promote awareness of the Leavenworth, Entiat, and Winthrop Hatcheries, the Fisheries Resource Office, and the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

LFC is home to one of the most comprehensive outdoor education and visitor services programs in the National Fish Hatchery System. In its twenty years of Connecting People with Nature, the LFC outreach team has served as a model for designing natural resource curriculum, creating interactive outdoor learning, producing special events, and promoting cultural awareness around the country.

Our Information and Education programs are designed to meet the needs of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Public outreach comes in many forms of on-site and off-site activities.

Salmon in the Classroom

This innovative cross-curricular program involves students in raising salmon from egg to fry stage in their classroom. The students get first hand experience of the natural world of the salmon. Fish and Wildlife biologists monitor the program, provide guidance and advice at each stage of growth, and lead discussions and activities that build understanding about the relationship between humans and a salmon's world.

Observations, assessments, monitoring, and data collection are all part of the process. Most of all the students love the environment created by having a salmon tank in the classroom. The favorite day is release day, when they get to free their very own fish into the local watershed, usually with a name, and always with a PIT tag to help monitor the traveling adventure made by their fingerling. Click here for a tutorial to see how the fish is detected.


Osborn 4th grade "Salmon in the Classroom" fish release with Travis Collier, Fishery Biologist from Leavenworth NFH - Photo: USFWS
Osborn 4th grade "Salmon in the Classroom" fish release.

Special Events

  • Wenatchee River Salmon Festival is one of the first nature festivals in the country and is held each September in partnership at LNFH.
  • Kids in the Creek allows students from area high schools to get their feet wet in a hands-on experience to learn about macroinvertebrates, water quality, riparian habitat and watersheds. Schools must apply for Kids in the Creek ecosystem experience.
  • National Fishing and Boating Week celebration provides an occasion for kids to learn to fish. Kids Fishing Days are fun family edu-tainment.
  • Special Olympics cross country ski competition takes place every winter on hatchery grounds. This is a treasured event full of smiles and medals.
  • Special Fishing Days take place in October when invited local special education classes and group homes join us for a special day of fishing.
  • Winter Wildlife Snowshoe Tours are led by trained naturalists. Guided tours are given along the nature trail after it has been blanketed by snow in January and February, Friday-Sunday. Snowshoes are provided and the tours are free. Reservations must be made in advance. Visit Friends of Northwest Hatcheries to make a reservation. Please visit our Events page for more information about the snowshoe tours and other things happening at the hatchery.
  • Tribal education
  • Other special events

Nasikelt River Discovery Program

Nasikelt River Discovery Program is an educational partnership program of the Leavenworth Fisheries Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of Northwest Hatcheries, Wenatchee River Salmon Festival and the Wenatchee River Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service. Our goal is to coordinate a diverse menu of natural resource education opportunities for schools and communities in North Central Washington.

The word "Nasikelt" comes from the old Native American word meaning "steep canyon or gorge", describing the beautiful Icicle Valley in which we reside. As settlers began moving into the valley the "Nasikelt" word evolved into "Icicle".

The following listing describes available services, activities and resources offered through the Nasikelt Program.

  • Discovery Boxes, or traveling educational trunks, are available for a two week checkout period for teachers and other educators. The purpose of these boxes is to make it easy for educators to cover specific subject areas such as: Fish, Fire, or Mammals. Each box includes a number of items related to the subject matter of the box; such as activity lessons, videos, pictures, posters, artifacts, models, equipment, and other resources appropriate to the subject matter of the box.
  • Learning Models, such as the Ground Water Model, which demonstrates the movement of ground water and what happens when contaminants are introduced into the environment. The Enviroscape Model, a mini-community, clearly shows how pollution can affect the entire watershed as well as offer solutions to combat those pollution concerns.

Educational Extras

Expand your knowledge and interest of salmon and other aquatic resources by exploring the following fun links:

Education Partnerships   

  • Cascade Discovery Alternative High School is located on the beautiful grounds of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery and creates a unique opportunity for hatchery and school to benefit from each other. Students interact with hatchery staff and the visiting public on a daily basis. Our Information and Education staff provide an almost weekly class, Discovery Naturalists, focused on outdoor and environmental education. Students may also partner with hatchery staff to complete mentorships activities, participate in work related studies, complete senior projects, or fulfill required volunteer service hours.
Chinook Salmon - Photo: USFWS
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon- Photo: NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Coho Salmon
NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Steelhead Trout - Photo: USFWS
Steelhead Trout
Rainbow Trout - Photo: USFWS
Rainbow Trout
Pacific Lamprey - Photo: USFWS
Pacific Lamprey
Bull Trout - Photo: USFWS
Bull Trout
Aquatic Invasive Species Zebra Mussels - Photo: USGS
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Zebra Mussels
Last updated: March 7, 2014
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery
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