Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery was established by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on April 24, 1959. Construction began on Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in 1959 and the first fish were stocked in 1962. The hatchery was established to use the cold water released from Hoover Dam to raise rainbow trout for sport fishing.
Historically, Willow Beach stocked rainbow trout from Lake Powell to Yuma, Arizona. Shortly after the Endangered Species Act was enacted in 1973 the hatchery began working with threatened and endangered fish native to the Colorado River. In the past the hatchery has worked with the endangered Colorado pikeminnow and humpback chub.
Today the hatchery continues to raise rainbow trout and works with the endangered bonytail chub and razorback suckers in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and the states of California, Nevada and Arizona as part of the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program. We also work with the relict leopard frog by providing short term grow out facilities before releasing the species into areas where populations are being developed.
In 1996 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the CRIT to renovate and dedicate a former commercial aquaculture facility to the rearing and production of the endangered razorback suckers and bonytail chubs, which is now known as the Achii Hanyo Native Fish Rearing Facility. Fish culture operations began in 1998.