Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery is just one of the many field stations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service whose mission is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Location and Contact Information
The Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery is located in the southern foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Cleburne County, Arkansas. The facility is just north of the historic city of Heber Springs and minutes from the beautiful Greers Ferry Lake and scenic Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam.
The hatchery was established in 1965 and produces rainbow and brook trout. The fish are stocked into cold tailwaters below federally operated dams in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Fish produced from the hatchery not only enhance recreational fishing opportunities in waters that have been modified by the cold releases of the dams, but also provide an enormous economic value to the local economies.
Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been applying science-based approaches to conservation challenges. We work with our partners and engage the public to conserve, restore, and enhance fish and other aquatic resources for the continuing benefit of the American people. Conservation is at the heart of what we do, and we recognize that we do this work for the American people–both the present generation who benefit today and future generations who will inherit our legacy of conserving America’s aquatic resources.
Visitors are welcome to a self-guided tour of the outdoor fish rearing area.
What We Do
The hatchery produces rainbow and brook trout to mitigate for fishery losses caused by the operations of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water development projects (hydroelectric dams) located in the White and Ouachita river basins of Arkansas, and the Illinois and Red river basins of eastern Oklahoma. In cooperation with state game and fish agencies of Arkansas and Oklahoma, trout are stocked for recreational fishing purposes into the cold tailwaters below these federally operated dams. The hatchery also partners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in cooperative efforts to conserve other aquatic species of mutual concern such as imperiled fish, mussels, and amphibians.
The next time you go fishing, you might just catch a fish that was raised at Greers Ferry 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.
The hatchery primarily produces rainbow trout and brook trout.
Projects and Research
National Fish Hatcheries raise fish and other aquatic species – like crayfish and mussels - to help restore and sustain important fish and other aquatic species for the benefit of the American people. Freshwater mussels play very important roles in our rivers and lakes filtering the water and creating habitat for fish and aquatic insects fish like to eat. With declining fish populations and declining freshwater mussel populations becoming prevalent across the world, fish hatchery operations are important than ever.
The hatchery partners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in restoration and recovery of the Ozark hellbender. The species was listed as endangered September 2011 under the Endangered Species Act. The hatchery participates in conservation efforts to increase numbers of the species by constructing artificial nesting boxes.
The hatchery partners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in restoration and recovery of the speckled pocketbook mussel. The mussel was listed February 1989 as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Each spring the hatchery provides mussel rearing cages placed in Greers Ferry Lake to captively grow mussels to increase numbers and provide research opportunities for the species .