Ways to Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National fish hatcheries provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love. 


National fish hatcheries partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of both urban and rural communities to make a lasting difference. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved! 


Volunteers: Gain new experiences and meet new people while helping to advance fish and aquatic conservation. 

Friends: Join neighbors in helping hatcheries work effectively in our communities. 

Youth: Explore paid and unpaid opportunities to learn and develop leadership skills. 


Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of volunteers have learned: Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Master new skills. Meet new friends. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow. Check out our station's latest volunteer opportunities on volunteer.gov 

Volunteers play a large role in hatchery operations and significantly impact the facility’s success. Each person provides their unique expertise to assist in fish culture activities, improve or create wildlife habitat, provide recreation, or conduct environmental education. 

The Friends of the Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery work on numerous projects throughout the year as well as provide support and assistance with outreach events and tours. In 2011 the Friends Group worked over 1000 hours to complete the restoration of the building that is now used as our Environmental Education Center. 

Education Programs

Open the door to a potentially life-changing experience. If you land a student internship, a fellowship or a volunteer opportunity at a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
, fish hatchery or other Fish and Wildlife Service site, you’re bound to come away with new insights and excitement about conservation.  

Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery (employs area youth through the Youth Conservation Corp (YCC) program each summer. Students interested in this opportunity should contact the hatchery for applications and information. YCC students learn hatchery operations, assist with tours and maintenance projects, and even participate in stocking fish alongside fishery biologists.  

Cool week is a 30-hour program has been occurring at the hatchery for many years and is part of the Leander Independent School District’s “Career Opportunities on Location” or “COOL” for short. The senior students have an aspiration to obtain college degrees in the biological sciences and hopefully obtain future employment in the biological field of study. Students become involved in many phases of hatchery work including cleaning culture tanks, monitoring water quality, feeding fish, entering data into spreadsheets, and performing equipment maintenance.