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Saratoga National Fish Hatchery
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Saratoga National Fish Hatchery

P.O. Box 665 - County Road 207 | Saratoga, WY 82331
Hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Phone: (307) 326-5662 | E-mail: saratoga@fws.gov

About The Hatchery

Species & Production | Broodstock | Wyoming Toad | Public Information | Open / Close All

Entrance sign at Saratoga National Fish Hatchery.

Entrance sign at Saratoga National Fish Hatchery.

100 years at Saratoga NFHThe Saratoga National Fish Hatchery in Saratoga, WY is celebrating 100 years of operation with events on July 3-4, 2015. Find out more here.

Saratoga National Fish Hatchery, established in 1911, has served as an egg-producing station during most of its years of operation. Between 1915 and 1984, various strains of brook, rainbow, brown, golden and cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden eggs were produced. In 1966, Saratoga National Fish Hatchery was formally designated as a broodstock hatchery, and in 1984 the hatchery became involved in the Great Lakes lake trout recovery program.

The current mission of the Saratoga hatchery is to provide 2.2 million Lewis Lake lake trout eggs to the Great Lakes restoration effort, and to provide 3 million Plymouth Rock brown trout eggs to other Federal, state and tribal programs. The Hatchery maintains the back-up broodstock for the Eagle Lake rainbow trout and provides Cutthroat trout for the Wind River Reservation. The hatchery also holds a refugium of the endangered Wyoming toad and produces tadpoles and toadlets for reintroduction into the wild.


Species and Production »

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Saratoga Species and Production: (Photos clockwise from left) Raceways inside the hatchery, Eggs from spawning, Lake trout. Credit: USFWS.

Saratoga Species and Production: (Photos clockwise from left) Raceways inside the hatchery, Eggs from spawning, Lake trout. Credit: USFWS.

Lake trout spawning

Lake trout spawning

Currently, Saratoga National Fish Hatchery produces trout and trout eggs for production hatcheries to fill needs for Federal, State, and Tribal waters across the Nation. The broodstock trout species being reared at the hatchery are lake, brown, and rainbow trout. These trout help to replenish and encourage sustainable fish populations and provide angling opportunities for recreational users.

As the aquatic habitat changes due to natural (drought, flood, habitat destruction) or human (over-harvest, pollution, habitat lost to development and dam construction) influences, the natural production of fish declines. Stocking of these trout is one of the many management strategies used by biologists to help replenish the populations for years to come.

To meet trout production demands, the hatchery facilities include 37 raceways and 16 tanks that are fed by a series of springs and wells. Facilities also include a toad-rearing room for the endangered Wyoming toad.

  • Wind River Tribal Fish & Game warden loading cutthroat trout for helicopter stocking of Wind River Indian Reservation high mountain lakes.

    Wind River Tribal Fish & Game warden loading cutthroat trout for helicopter stocking of Wind River Indian Reservation high mountain lakes.

  • USFWS biologist loading helicopter with native cutthroat trout for stocking high mountain lakes on Wind River Indian Reservation.

    USFWS biologist loading helicopter with native cutthroat trout for stocking high mountain lakes on Wind River Indian Reservation.

  • Helicopter load of Yellowstone cutthroat trout reared at Saratoga NFH on their way to a high mountain lake on Wind River Indian Reservation.

    Helicopter load of Yellowstone cutthroat trout reared at Saratoga NFH on their way to a high mountain lake on Wind River Indian Reservation.

  • Wind River Tribal Fish & Game warden loading Yellowstone cutthroat trout for stocking high mountain lakes on Wind River Indian Reservation.

    Wind River Tribal Fish & Game warden loading Yellowstone cutthroat trout for stocking high mountain lakes on Wind River Indian Reservation.

Yellowstone cutthroat trout

Saratoga NFH rears and stocks native Yellowstone cutthroat trout into a number of lowland lakes and high mountain wilderness lakes on the Wind River Reservation in a continuing effort to enhance and maintain this native trout species. Invasions by exotic trout species have greatly diminished the distribution and abundance of Yellowstone cutthroat trout, potentially threatening cutthroat trout persistence in its natal range of the Wind River drainage of Wyoming. Restoration efforts for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout on the Wind River Indian Reservation are only possible with a consistent, genetically pure, quality hatchery and rearing program.


Broodstock »

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Split photo of USFWS staff holding nonnative fish species. Credit: USFWS.

Split photo of USFWS staff holding nonnative fish species. Credit: USFWS.

Broodstock are adult fish that produce eggs and sperm. A brood stock hatchery specializes in rearing fish to adult size, then taking the eggs from those fish, fertilizing the eggs with sperm, incubating the eggs through the fragile early stages, and shipping them to production hatcheries where they are hatched and the fish are raised to stockable sizes.

As a result of the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery broodstock program, genetically distinct strains of trout have been perpetuated, and the eggs provided to production hatcheries contribute to the multi-million dollar economic impact of recreational fishing throughout the Nation. Excess and retired brood fish are also stocked in Wyoming waters to support additional recreational angling opportunities.

Benefits: Since 1992, Saratoga National Fish Hatchery has provided eggs to over 50 Federal, Tribal and State Programs nationwide. The map below illustrates the states that have benefited from the products produced at Saratoga hatchery.


Wyoming Toad »

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  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.
  • Toad life cycle photos in 13 photos.

Saratoga National Fish Hatchery adopted a unique role in becoming the first hatchery in the National Fish Hatchery System to become involved in rearing endangered amphibians. The Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri), was a common sight on areas of the Laramie Plains, Albany County, Wyoming, into the early 1970s but the populations crashed in the mid 1970s. The Wyoming toad was listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in January 1984. Found only in southwestern Wyoming, the Wyoming toad is considered the most endangered amphibian in North America. The hatchery maintains a captive population for breeding, rearing, and refugia, and the offspring from this program will be used for reintroduction efforts.


Public Information »

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Saratoga Public Information: (Photos clockwise from left) Visiting hours sign, Saratoga scenery, Wildlife viewing area sign. Credit: USFWS.

Saratoga Public Information: (Photos clockwise from left) Visiting hours sign, Saratoga scenery, Wildlife viewing area sign. Credit: USFWS.

Saratoga National Fish Hatchery provides many exciting visitor opportunities at the hatchery and surrounding area.

Open to the public, Saratoga National Fish Hatchery welcomes visitors to the hatchery for a closeup view of the fish production process. With over 3,000 visitors annually, the dedicated staff will normally be available to answer your questions while you explore the Visitor Center and facilities. Bring the hatchery experience alive with educational programs and hatchery tours, and view the large brood fish and the endangered Wyoming toad. Be sure to stop by from late September to early November to watch the spawning activities.

In addition to the hatchery experience, visitors also have a bounty of nearby recreational opportunities to explore:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife and birdwatching
  • Photography
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Backpacking
  • Snowshoeing

Saratoga National Fish Hatchery is located 4 miles northeast of Saratoga, Wyoming, on 120 acres of land. Join the hatchery staff as they participate in local public fishing festivities for National Fishing and Boating Day events each June.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: July 24, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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