Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery is located about 20 miles east of Delta, CO near the town of Hotchkiss and was established in 1967 as part of the Colorado River Storage Project Act. Located on 58 acres along the northern bank of the North Fork of the Gunnison River, the hatchery's cold, clean water supply comes from the adjacent Tommy Dowell Spring. Hotchkiss NFH facilities include 24 inside nursery tanks, 40 concrete raceways, and 2 earthen ponds used for effluent treatment and sedimentation.
Staff at this facility currently is composed of four full-time employees and one seasonal employee. This small crew is in charge of all aquaculture duties, maintaining grounds, equipment maintenance, public outreach and tours, and many other duties as they arise.
This hatchery is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System. The system comprises numerous fish hatcheries, fish technology centers, and fish health centers across the country. This system has the unique responsibility of restoring native aquatic populations, mitigating fisheries loss as a result of federal water projects, providing fish to benefit tribes and the National Wildlife Refuge system, and recovering species listed under the Endangered Species Act.