Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery is a warmwater hatchery established in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1901. The hatchery is named after the Congressional representative who appealed to Congress in his famous ‘hatchery speech’: “Fish will travel overland for miles to get into the water we have at Tupelo… thousands and millions of unborn fish are clamoring to this Congress today for an opportunity to be hatched at the Tupelo hatchery.”
Today, quality water helps ensure a healthy brood stock of Gulf Coast Walleye. Behemoths like Alligator Gar and Lake Sturgeon are cultured here for restoration projects. Striped Bass are also produced and stocked as part of a large national restoration effort. The hatchery develops propagation protocols for smaller fish species like darters and madtoms. National wildlife refuges and lakes on national forests benefit from the thousands of Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Redear Sunfish produced and stocked by the hatchery.
The mission of the Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery has continuously changed in the past 100-plus years of operation; all depending on the role the hatchery needed to play to move fishery programs forward for the continual benefit of the American People. Today, the hatchery is involved in raising 12 different species and is dedicated to restoring threatened, endangered, at-risk, and recreational fish species to achieve self-sustaining populations in the wild and stocking recreational fish across the region and even across the country. Another key role the hatchery plays is leading the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Team (AHRT) for USFWS. Hatchery staff contribute to the AHRT efforts and travel across the country to modify habitat, remove dams, install bottomless concrete or aluminum culverts etc. to improve aquatic habitat and to overall increase aquatic passage across the nation.
The Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery, established in 1901 and originally named the Tupelo National Fish Hatchery, has played many roles contributing to fisheries in our great nation over the past 100-plus years. In the early 1900’s the mission of the hatchery was to serve as a subsistence fishery to meet a growing demand for food across the country. In the 1980’s the hatchery partnered with USDA and participated in the Arm Pond Program. The USDA assisted private landowners in constructing ponds on their property and the hatchery’s role was to provide stockable Channel Catfish fingerlings for the private landowners to stock their newly constructed ponds. In the mid 1990’s the hatchery got involved, and is now a driving force, for Alligator Gar efforts across the region; producing, rearing, raising, shipping, and stocking all life stages of Alligator Gar across the Southeast.