Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery’s primary mission is to produce and provide channel catfish in support of recreational fishing programs on Tribal lands across the four state Region of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. In addition to significant social, recreational, and conservation-partnership benefits, the catfish program also provides significant economic benefits to our Tribal partners. In 2018, it was estimated that channel catfish provided by the hatchery results in over $8 million of economic value on an annual basis. This long-established program continues to be an important partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our Tribal partners.
To do this work, the hatchery has 30 ponds ranging in size from 0.25 acres to 1.5 acres with a total of 28 surface acres for fish production. The fish culture infrastructure consists of a feed storage building, holding house for egg and early fish development, four 60-foot raceways, and eight 20-foot circulars are housed under a shade.
The facility also has infrastructure for working with endangered species including an Endangered Species laboratory. It contains aquariums and circular tanks of various sizes, an in-vitro laboratory for freshwater mussel culture, a host fish laboratory and numerous docks and other unique structures for researching freshwater mussel production.