Facility Activities

Visitors also have a bounty of nearby recreational opportunities along the North Fork of the Gunnison River.  Relax and enjoy your lunch under one of the five covered picnic areas on the hatchery grounds or test your wildlife knowledge while viewing the surrounding canyon areas using the Watchable Wildlife viewing area. So be sure to bring your binoculars for the wildlife viewing, such as juncos, hawks, eagles, waterfowl, elk, deer, raccoons, and fox.

Educational programs/tours are provided for the public and school groups during business hours when scheduled in advance. A short, wheelchair-accessible, self-guided tour is available at the hatchery as well.

The Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It is closed on federal holidays. The hatchery fishing grounds are open from sunup to sundown, with no overnight stays or camping, year-round. Trout fishing is allowed in the North Fork of...

Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.
From bald eagles to spoonbills, from condors to puffins, birds abound on national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide places for birds to nest, rest, feed and breed making them world-renown for their birding opportunities.
A few sites allow picnicking at designated areas.