Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery
Southeast Region
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The Aquarium

Aquarium building. Credit: USFWS

Aquarium building. Credit: USFWS

The Aquarium houses a variety of fish as well as three static displays. Thirteen of the sixteen tanks showcase a variety of warm water fish, alligators, and turtles. All species are quite common in this region. The aquarium is also proud to house a rare albino snapping turtle found in a local pond.

The other three tanks include a wood duck display, a replica Caddo Indian village, and a mock archeology dig site. The hatchery was once the site of the Natchitoches-Caddo peoplewho occupied the region before 1835. The famous explorer Henri de Tonti, who came here in 1690, met with the Natchitoches Indians on the very site the hatchery now occupies. For this reason, the hatchery grounds are actually classified as a State Historic Site. Archeology work on the station also resulted in a small parcel of hatchery land being listed in August 2005 on the National Register of Historic Places. Cultural heritage is a part of Louisiana’s past and present and the hatchery continues to strive to educate the public about the Caddoan people and the hatchery’s tie to their heritage. Both the replica village and the mock dig site reveal a lot about the culture of fish in this area as well as the cultural heritage of the Caddo people.

The reptile community is an active group to watch.
The reptile community is an active group to watch.

 

 


Captain de Tonti entered the area recording some of his journey through Natchitoches.

  Caddo village diorama displays what archaeology tells us of the site and people who lived here from at least 1450 AD.
Caddo village diorama displays what archaeology tells us of the site and people who lived here from at least 1450 AD.

 

Present generations of Caddo come to the site. Here during a special event, elders tell of tribal traditions.
Present generations of Caddo come to the site. Here during a special event, elders tell of tribal traditions.

Call (318)352-5324 for more information.
Open from 8am-3pm, all days except federal holidays. There are information panels by each exhitit so that you can self-tour the facility. Groups may also request, by appointment, to see the hatchery slide show which gives an overview of hatchery efforts throughout the year. The hatchery slide show runs about 30 minutes. If a slide show and tour for a group are desired, please call to schedule.

 

 

Last updated: May 5, 2010