The next time you go fishing, you might just catch a fish that was raised at our hatchery! Atlantic and landlocked salmon, American shad, and round whitefish raised here are stocked annually in reservoirs, lakes, rivers and coastal streams across New England. We also produce several hundred brook trout annually for donation to local fishing derbies, outreach, and educational events.
The site of the hatchery was purchased on January 23, 1898. The station produced rainbow, brook, and brown trout for stocking state and federally managed waters within New England, and trout and salmon eggs for distribution throughout the United States.
In 1978, production shifted to Atlantic salmon for use in the Merrimack River Restoration Program. The hatchery was a domestic and sea run salmonfacility, producing four million eggs annually for restoration programs in the Merrimack River Basin in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the Pawcatuck and Wood Rivers in Rhode Island, and New Hampshire Coastal Rivers. The hatchery also assisted in the Adopt-A-Salmon Family Program. A watershed educational program established in schools in central New England, which evolved into a popular vehicle for students, teachers, parents, and community volunteers to be involved in maintaining the ecological health of their watersheds. In 2013, salmon restoration efforts were scaled back and the hatchery shifted focus to include other species in New England watersheds.
Today, efforts are focused on restoring endangered Atlantic salmon populations in Maine, American shad populations throughout New England, landlocked salmon populations for recreational fishing opportunities in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Sandwich strain brook trout for outreach and educational programming around New Hampshire, and threatened round whitefish populations in the Upper Connecticut River and associated lakes.
The hatchery has gone through many changes since it was initially built but what hasn't changed is our devotion to restoring fish to the rivers of New England for all to enjoy. Check out a few of the photos of the changes at the hatchery below.
Other Facilities in this Complex
The Nashua National Fish Hatchery is co-located with the Central New England Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Nashua, New Hampshire.
We also belong to a broader complex of FWS facilities known as the Maine-New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Complex. The complex is comprised of 7 offices, including three national fish hatcheries. Collectively, we conserve the unique fish and wildlife of Maine and New Hampshire such as wood ducks, eagles, plovers, songbirds, cougar, lynx, brook trout, salmon and alewife.