Facility Rules and Policies

Visitors are welcome at our hatchery, as long as rules are followed.

Please follow our rules

While at the hatchery, there are some rules that must be followed. These are straightforward. Here are some of them:

  • No alcohol is allowed on the premises.
  • Dogs must be on-leash at all times.
  • Clean up after your dogs and yourselves. Trash cans are located near the main hatchery building, and dog clean-up bags are supplied at many of our signboards.
  • No overnight camping or parking.
  • Drones are not currently allowed to operate from our property.

For commercial activities and for gatherings of 20 or more people, apply for a Special Use Permit. Contact the Visitor Services Manager, Nicole Shepherd, to get information on applying.

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits (SUPs) are an important tool for managing use on shared public lands. The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act authorizes us to collect fees at our site through a Special Use Permit system.

When are permits needed?

  • For any activity taking place on the hatchery grounds that draws a group of more than 20 people.
  • For any activity that requests reservation of space (parking lot, park area, gazebo, etc.).
  • For any commercial activity.  Commercial activities are activities for which a fee is charged, or that are run by a for-profit entity, or that are being done for the purpose of profit even if that profit will take place at a later date (commercial photography, for instance).

How are fees collected?

  • By a designated Fee Collection Agent at the hatchery.
  • Fees will be deposited into a special account managed by the USFWS set up for the purpose.

How are fees used?

  • Repairs and maintenance directly linked to visitor use of the site.
  • Interpretive visitor services.
  • Direct operating costs associated with the recreation fee program, including salary.

What are the fees?

  • Non-commercial applications do not pay a fee.
  • Commercial applications must pay a $50 fee.
  • Fees are assessed based on whether a staff person will be needed ($150/staff person/day) and/or whether money will be collected by the operator.  If money is collected by the operator, a percentage of gross may be charged.
  • Fees must be paid monthly, or within one month of the close of the permit.

What criteria will be used to determine whether a party will be given a permit?

  • The proposed activity will cause no harm to hatchery property, nor will it interfere with the hatchery mission.
  • The proposed activity will fulfill hatchery goals.  For example, an organization wishes to promote a new fishing reel by setting up a booth.  If they put on a youth fishing activity using the reels they wish to promote, they are engaging people in using the resource as it was meant to be used, thus meeting our goals.
  • The proposed activity will not interfere with or infringe upon other existing permits.
  • The proposed activity will not require more hatchery staff attention than can be readily spared from fulfilling our mission, in the judgement of the hatchery manager.
  • The party making the proposal must have a positive record of activity on other occasions and in other locations.  If, for example, the party is known to have failed to make payments on permits held with other entities, they may be denied a permit at the hatchery.

How will permittees be selected when there is more than one party in competition?

  • The hatchery is not required to advertise or grant opportunities. (USFWS Refuge Manual 17.4: “The Service has no obligation to grant any person a specialized use…”)
  • Requests for permits are taken as they come in. 
  • In the case that an operator asks for an opportunity to compete for a permit against an existing operator, a competitive process for the next permit may be initiated at the close of the existing operator’s permit.

Does a permit holder need to provide proof of liability insurance?

  • Yes.

What time period shall permits cover?

  • No longer than five years.
  • At the close of a permit, the party may re-apply for a new permit.
  • Permits may not be extended without the same level of review given a new permit application.

What kind of reporting requirements are there for operators?

  • A report shall accompany each fee payment.
  • Reports shall include the number of participants, broken down by date of visit.

What consequences will result from failing to meet the requirements of a permit, or from actions harmful to the hatchery, mission, or other users?

  • The permit may be revoked at any time by the hatchery manager.  (USFWS Refuge Manual 17.3: “Failure to abide by any part of a permit or agreement or violation of any relevant provision of Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations will be considered grounds for revocation of such permit, contract, or agreement.”)  Revocation will be issued in writing (electronic notices are equal to physical ones).
  • Future permits may be denied.
  • Payment for damages to the site may be demanded.

For more information, or to request an application form, contact Visitor Services Manager, Nicole Shepherd.