Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is a warm water station currently involved in spawning, hatching, and rearing young fish (fingerlings), turtles, and mussels. The various species are raised to a size and age which provide them with the best chance of surviving in the wild; a valuable tool in the Service's mission of species restoration & recovery as well as enhancing recreational fishing. The hatchery is also involved in research projects for these various species including tagging and monitoring for tracking the species in the wild, fish feed trials, and improving culture and spawning techniques.

Visit Us

View of Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery Aquarium entrance and American Flag/ DOI flags flying.

We are OPEN!

Stop by Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery to experience our free, self guided, Aquarium exhibit! Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery also has 53 outdoor ponds, averaging .8 acres in size. There is no designated walking trail, but you are welcome to walk on the levees for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, exercise, or to just enjoy being outdoors. Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is an eBird hotspot with 114 individuals species noted, come see if you can find some more. The aquarium is open from 8-3 daily while the hatchery is open from 8-3 Monday - Thursday.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is one of 69 Federal fish hatcheries located across the United States, and is the only Federal fish hatchery located in Louisiana.  Opened in 1931, the hatchery has raised many different species of fish over the years, and is currently working towards species recovery and restorations efforts for Louisiana Pearshell mussels, Alligator snapping turtles, Gulf Striped Bass; as well as assisting in Alligator Gar and Paddlefish efforts. Natchitoches also works with various partners to enhance recreational fishing by raising Channel Catfish, Largemouth bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Bluegill, and Redear Sunfish.  Louisiana is called Sportsman’s Paradise reflecting, a history steeped in the environment.

      As we work to protect our natural resources, we also aim to protect the cultural heritage of the people who were here long before us.  Natchitoches NFH has been working with the Caddo Indian Nation for years to develop educational resources for the local school systems that teach about the Caddo way of life.  The Aquarium at Natchitoches NFH contains displays featuring the Caddo people who use to inhabit the very land the hatchery is built on.  In addition to our indoor displays there is also a memorial plaza located on the side of the Aquarium, dedicated to remembering the Caddo people who lived, died and were buried on now what is known at Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery.


      Group or individual tours are available upon request.

      Day of tours for individuals or small groups are subject to staff availability. 

      Our Species

      Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is involved in restoring populations of threatened, endangered, and at-risk species as well as propagating recreational species to increase fishing opportunities across the southeast.