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. Creston’s fish production translates into distribution of over 900,000 fish into Montana waters annually. As a result of the Creston NFH's stocking efforts annual economic benefits produce over 150,000 angler days with an estimated local economic benefit valued at approximately 10 million dollars.

Management and Conservation

The next time you go fishing, you might just catch a fish that was raised at Creston National Fish Hatchery. Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been responding to conservation challenges affecting America’s fish and other aquatic species. Producing fish continues to be an irreplaceable tool in managing or restoring fisheries along with habitat conservation. In doing so, we help provide recreation opportunities to America’s 34 million anglers who spend $36 billion annually in pursuit of their favored pastime. 

Our Services

Recent upgrades to the original historical facility will enable the hatchery to remain viable far into the future. These have included the reconstruction of the Jessup Mill Pond Dam, a new hatchery water intake and spillway, construction of influent and effluent water treatment facilities, a raised mound septic system and pump station, renovation of the historic hatchery building, construction of a nature trail and streamside amphitheater, a new multi-use pavilion, and an Arbor Day Foundation Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

Two other FWS programs are co-located at the hatchery, Partners for Fish & Wildlife and Montana Ecological Services. Together the three Service programs form the Creston Fish and Wildlife Center.

We welcome you to visit our hatchery, take a nature hike around the grounds and learn about the wonders of the aquatic world around us.