The Nashua National Fish Hatchery supports Atlantic salmon, American shad and other aquatic species restoration efforts in the Merrimack River and other rivers. The station provides eggs for fry release programs and retired broodstock for Atlantic salmon recreational fisheries. Salmon eggs are obtained from adult sea-run salmon captured in the Merrimack River and held on the station and from domestic broodstock maintained at the hatchery. American shad eggs are obtained from adult shad returning to the Merrimack River; and juveniles are released to underutilized sections of the Merrimack River and Charles River in Massachusetts.
Each year the Nashua National Fish Hatchery utilizes approximately 1,300 Atlantic salmon for egg production. Once spawned, the domestic fish are surplus to program needs and are released into the Merrimack River for the largest directed Atlantic salmon fishery in New England. The fish are marked, transported and released by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
The Nashua National Fish Hatchery hosts approximately 1,500 students and adults from the Adopt-A-Salmon Family watershed education program, area schools, and civic scouting groups, and provides them with information about resource stewardship and anadromous fish restoration programs.
In the summer of 2009, the hatchery produced 4 million shad fry that were released into the Charles River in Waltham, Massachusetts, and produced 1.3 million shad fry that were released into the Merrimack River in Boscawen, New Hampshire.
The station produced 1.4 million salmon eggs in 2009, most of which were shipped to the North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery where they were incubated, hatched and released into the headwaters of the Merrimack and other rivers. The fry mature in a natural environment, restoring the historic role in the ecosystem, and migrate to the sea to complete their life cycle. The hatchery also provided over 1,500 retired Atlantic salmon broodstock, which are excessed each year, to the Merrimack River salmon broodstock fishery to provide recreational fishing opportunities and associated economic benefits.
Visiting hours are 8:00am to 4:00pm daily and personnel at the Nashua National Fish Hatchery are available for free guided tours, lectures, and multimedia presentations to groups and organizations as workload and schedules allow during weekdays. It is recommended to schedule tours in advance by calling 603-595-0891.
Nashua National Fish Hatchery
151 Broad Street
Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals may reach the Nashua National Fish Hatchery through Relay New Hampshire: