Welcome to the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery
- Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery consists of 31 acres bordering the North Edisto River south of Charleston, South Carolina.
- The hatchery has flexible and unique capabilities available to propagate and study most freshwater and saltwater aquatic species found in the South Atlantic Coastal Region.
- Facilities include nine recirculated intensive culture systems; three recirculated egg incubation/larval rearing systems; numerous holding and intensive rearing tanks; and six salt and freshwater ponds.
- Number of staff: four.
- The hatchery's primary area of concern is the south Atlantic coast.
- Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Closed on Federal Holidays.
- Restore and manage interjurisdictional coastal and riverine fishes, such as the American shad, anadromous sturgeon, and red drum.
- Recovery of species listed under the Endangered Species Act, such as the shortnose sturgeon and candidate species such as the Atlantic sturgeon.
- Pioneer and develop culture techniques for both freshwater and saltwater species.
- Develop hatchery product evaluation techniques.
- Enhance and restore fish habitat in both coastal and freshwater systems.
- Atlantic sturgeon: Investigating reproduction and culture techniques.
- Red drum: Spawned on site, cultured in saltwater ponds, genetically tagged and released into South Carolina waters.
- Cobia: Investigating reproduction and culture techniques.
- Bonnethead Sharks: Investigating age and growth through chemical tagging techniques.
- American Shad: Restoration of stocks in the South Edisto River.
Services Provided To
- Federal agencies including other Fish and Wildlife Service program offices.
- State agencies.
- Native American Tribes.
- Military bases.
- Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s).
- The public.
Public Use Opportunities
- Environmental education and outreach for tour groups and individual visitors.
- Informational kiosk installed to familiarize visitors with station and service goals.
- Remote location with beautiful preserved live oak and Spanish moss habitat provides excellent birding, wildlife watching and picnicking opportunities for the public.
- A variety of rare species can be viewed on the station (wood storks, brown pelicans, American alligator, bald eagle, etc.)
- Self-guided nature tour highlighting the South Carolina Lowcountry ecosystem.