Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, located along beautiful Icicle Creek, is a spectacular location to picnic, observe wildlife, learn about the salmon lifecycle, and enjoy a nature walk. The visitor center is open Monday - Friday when staffing is available. Starting Thanksgiving weekend the Visitor Center will also be open on Saturdays.
You are welcome to visit the hatchery grounds during daylight hours every day of the year. You can also learn about our hatchery by video. Take a virtual look inside the visitor center at the gorgeous mural or see what happens in the nursery (a look at March and November, moving fry into tanks, feeding fry, and cleaning up after them).
The hatchery hosts a variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the year and is the home for the Cascade Discovery High School. Activities include hatchery tours, Wenatchee River Salmon Festival and many other special events, horseback rides, winter snowshoe tours, cross country skiing, fish viewing, and outdoor summer theater.
This is just one of the many field stations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service whose mission is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Visiting the hatchery makes for an informative and meaningful experience for all ages. Below are some ideas to help you plan your trip.
During different months of the year, visitors can enjoy a number of recreation activities on our grounds. Some of the most popular activities include walking, horseback riding, skiing, fishing, wildlife viewing, non-motorized boating, and snowshoeing. See below for more details.
We have about 6 miles of trails on the hatchery grounds. The most popular are located across the bridge from the main hatchery production area. Black lines on the map indicate roads, mostly paved. Roads are used only by hatchery staff and are not for general vehicle use. Dotted lines indicate trails or roads with dirt or gravel surfaces. Self-guided tour flyers with maps are located at our signboards at the hatchery.
Our Self-Guided Tour Brochure is available on-site at our signboards. Follow the guide around the site to learn about hatchery history and production.
The Birding Bench Trail Guide offers a map with locations of benches placed specifically with morning birding in mind. The reverse side includes the local bird list for the Wenatchee Valley. The guide is available at our signboards.
The Junior Fish Biologist Activity Book is full of activities that teach children (and inquisitive adults!) about salmon and our hatchery. Some activities ("Hatchery Hunt" and "Interviewing Hatchery People") are easier to do at the hatchery, but many others can be done at home ("Parts of a Fish" or "Word Search") or in other outdoor spaces ("Discovery Hike" or "Watershed Watcher").
Additional flyers are available by request that cover the history of the hatchery and our fish production. To request a digital copy of any of these brochures, flyers, or activity books, please contact Marjie Lodwick.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Entiat, Leavenworth, and Winthrop national fish hatcheries are mitigation hatcheries established by the Grand Coulee Fish Maintenance Project (1937) to compensate for anadromous fish losses above Grand Coulee Dam. All three produce spring or summer Chinook salmon, and Winthrop NFH produces steelhead.
As part of the Leavenworth Fisheries Complex, the Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office evaluates the hatchery production programs, provides technical assistance, and assists the coordination of operations and production. The MCFWCO cooperates with other Service programs, agencies, tribes, and entities using and managing aquatic species and their habitats in the mid- and upper-Columbia River Basin.
Rules and Policies
Visitors are welcome at our hatchery, as long as rules are followed.