Leadville National Fish Hatchery, established in 1889, is the second oldest federally operated fish hatchery in operation today.

Visit Us

NOTICE: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service policy requires all individuals to wear a mask indoors at our facilities when the local COVID-19 community transmission level is HIGH. Please check the CDC Community Level for Lake County, Colorado before visiting this hatchery and be prepared to follow any posted guidance. Thank you for your cooperation.

Leadville National Fish Hatchery provides many exciting visitor opportunities while giving back to our local communities. Visit the hatchery for a close-up view of the fish production process. With over 36,000 visitors annually, the dedicated volunteer hosts at the Visitor Center bring the hatchery experience alive.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Leadville National Fish Hatchery was created by Executive Order of President Benjamin Harrison for the purpose of increasing the supply of fish for inland waters. The hatchery grounds occupy 3,072 acres near the city of Leadville, Colorado, at an elevation of 10,000 feet. The hatchery’s subalpine forest surroundings, with its cold, clean water supply provide the ideal location for trout production. Originally, the hatchery produced trout that were distributed over the entire Rocky Mountain region. Waters which originally held only native cutthroat trout, or none at all, were stocked with additional trout. The Black Hills area and parts of Wyoming that held no native trout were first stocked from this hatchery.

      What We Do

      To meet the trout production demands, Leadville National Fish Hatchery facilities include 16 raceways and 20 nursery tanks. Leadville National Fish Hatchery is currently rearing Hayden Creek cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and greenback cutthroat trout to fill needs throughout Colorado. These fish help to replenish and encourage sustainable trout populations and provide angling opportunities for recreational users like you!

      Our Organization

      The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
      The National Fish Hatchery System works to support healthy, self-sustaining populations of fish and other aquatic species across the country. Every year we raise and stock over 100 million fish to support the recovery and restoration of imperiled species, recreational fishing, and tribal...

      Our Species

      Greenback cutthroat trout are coldwater fish belonging to the trout, salmon and whitefish family. They have dark, round spots on the sides and tail and two colorful blood-red stripes on each side of the throat under the jaw, hence the name "cutthroat." During the spring spawning season the...

      FWS Focus

      At its full size, the Wyoming toad is only two inches long. This toad looks lumpy - its body is covered with warts and its head has a humped ridge. The skin is various shades of brown - perfect for blending in and escaping would-be predators.

      FWS Focus