About Us

The hatchery was authorized under the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Act of 1924, which also created Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The hatchery was built as a back to work project during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Act, enacted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is one of 72 federal hatcheries managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The location was selected because of its proximity to the Mississippi River and its reliable source of broodfish and artesian well water, both of which are used to raise fish and fill ponds. 

Our Mission began as raising bass and panfish for the U.S. Fish Commission to provide to area waters and conservation agencies. Over time the station’s mission changed to focus on recovering federally endangered aquatic species such as freshwater mussels, restoring threatened fish species such as lake sturgeon and providing conservation and fisheries support to tribal and state conservation agencies. The station is unique due to its location and its many different rearing units and water temperatures. This makes raising many different species of aquatic animals more feasible. In fact, the station raises more than 15 species of fish and 15 species of mussels as well as one dragonfly and one salamander species!

Great River Road Interpretive Center 

The interpretive center is a great starting point for self-guided tours of the hatchery, hiking trails, family activities, special events, and local area history.  For interpretive center hours visit the hatchery Facebook page or call 608/689-2605.

Our Mission

The purpose of Genoa National Fish Hatchery is to provide aquatic services and research capabilities to support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s mission of conservation.

Currently, Genoa National Fish Hatchery’s mission and priorities are:

  • Recover endangered aquatic species
  • Restore threatened fish populations
  • Provide fishery resources support to national wildlife refuges and Native American tribes
  • Provide sport fish to increase recreational opportunities on public lands

Our History

1932 - Construction began on the hatchery.

1937 - Construction of the hatchery was completed.

1950s - Walleye and pike culture expanded.

1990s - 2000s - The mission changed to focus on supporting native fish restoration including lake sturgeon and endangered freshwater mussel recovery.

2018 - The visitor center opened focusing on the intrinsic value of the Upper Mississippi River, the area’s history and natural resources.