Established in 1939, Creston National Fish Hatchery in northwest Montana was the first and only hatchery to raise endangered bull trout.

Visit Us

NOTICE: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service policy requires all individuals to wear a mask indoors at our facilities when the local COVID-19 community transmission level is HIGH. Please check the CDC Community Level for Flathead County, Montana before visiting this hatchery and be prepared to follow any posted guidance. Thank you for your cooperation.

Open to the public, Creston National Fish Hatchery is in the beautiful Flathead Valley approximately 15 miles east of Kalispell and 36 miles south of Glacier National Park. The hatchery sits at the base of the Swan Mountain Range and is surrounded by prime agricultural farmland which provides a picturesque setting for raising fish and providing educational opportunities on the forested grounds.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Established in 1939, Creston NFH originally provided fingerling trout for Glacier National Park. Today, the hatchery stocks fish on tribal lands, for mitigation purposes, to restore native fish and for outreach at kids fishing ponds.

      What We Do

      Creston National Fish Hatchery currently raises two strains of rainbow trout; Eagle Lake and Arlee, and one strain of westslope cutthroat trout; Montana MO12. Annually Creston stocks approximately 750,000 rainbow and 250,000 westslope cutthroat trout, all within the State of Montana. Currently on hold, the hatchery will begin producing native bull trout in 2025.

      Our Organization

      The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
      The National Fish Hatchery System works to support healthy, self-sustaining populations of fish and other aquatic species across the country. Every year we raise and stock over 100 million fish to support the recovery and restoration of imperiled species, recreational fishing, and tribal...

      Our Species

      Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) are members of the family Salmonidae and are char native Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana and western Canada. Compared to other salmonids, bull trout have more specific habitat requirements that appear to influence their distribution and abundance....

      FWS Focus