Come explore Erwin National Fish Hatchery, producer of 18 million trout eggs annually for federal, state, tribal, universities, and research centers! In addition to feeding the fish, visitors can hike the nature trail, picnic, observe spawning processes, pollinator gardens, beehives, wildlife, and more! This immersive learning environment offers knowledge and fun for everyone!

Visit Us

Get an up-close experience with trout production and management at Erwin National Fish Hatchery! Explore opportunities to learn the lifecycle and spawning cycles of trout, routine fish husbandry practices, and pick up a cup of fish food to get in on hatchery action! 

Note: Erwin National Fish Hatchery is open to the public. Admission and fish food are free of charge.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Two week old Rainbow trout eggs, referred to as "Eyed eggs"

      Erwin National Fish Hatchery is a primary National Broodstock Program facility that is responsible for producing ~16 million trout eggs annually. These certified disease free eggs are provided to federal, state, tribal hatcheries, universities, and research centers to support recreational fishing management efforts around the country. The hatchery spawns three strains of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), each with a spawning cycle beginning at different times in the year, and one strain of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis).


      The hatchery grounds are open for self-guided tours daily or to schedule a guided tour please call 423.743.4712 to make a reservation.  

      What We Do

      Erwin National Fish Hatchery produces millions of trout eggs per year, shipping the eyed eggs to other facilities to be hatched, grown, and eventually released into public waters for recreational fishing. The hatchery also works with partnering agencies to produce and distribute imperiled freshwater mussels for population recovery efforts in Tennessee and North Carolina. Additionally, we assist partnering agencies with monitoring and distribution of lake sturgeon and monitoring and restoration of native southern Appalachian brook trout populations. 

      Small orange fish eggs on a white background.

      The National Broodstock Program was established in 1970 to support healthy sustainable fisheries in waterways across the country. Every year the National Broodstock Program provides about 60 million fish eggs that are hatched and raised by our partners to meet their conservation and management...

      Our Organization

      Developmental comparison of Rainbow trout eyed eggs and sacfry.

      Erwin National Fish Hatchery's primary role exists within the National Broodstock Program, producing millions of certified disease-free eggs to many facilities each year. Outside of trout mitigation, the hatchery participates in freshwater mussel propagation, Southern Appalachian Brook trout restoration, and more. These collaborative efforts combine, working towards the mission of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program. 

      Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
      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.
      150 Years. National Fish Hatchery System.” in front of glossy orange eggs against a white background.
      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

                                                                     Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

      Comparison of Rainbow trout sizes including a 3 inch, 5 inch, and 10 inch fish.

                                                                             Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

      Get Involved

      Interested in volunteering? Call or email us through our Contact Us page!

      Volunteers assist staff with a number of hatchery activities including monthly sample counts, stocking fish, maintenance projects, groundskeeping, and more! 


      Tyler Hern

      Projects and Research

      Erwin National Fish Hatchery participates in many projects ranging from producing inland salmonids and eggs to restoration of native species (freshwater mussels, lake sturgeon, brook trout). 

      Rainbow trout eggs packed with specialized absorbent paper towels for shipment from Erwin National Fish Hatchery.