Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery
Southeast Region

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Welcome Visitor

Can't make it here? Take our Virtual Tour!

An elementary class meets a paddlefish. Credit: USFWS


This young lady attempts to catch a channel catfish during the open house and kids fishing derby Credit: Juanita Murrphy

The Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery became operational in 1931 under the authority of the White Act as a warm water facility that would produce catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish for local public waters and farm ponds. Since 1931, resource needs in the southeast have changed and the mission of the station has changed with the times. We still raise largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish, but on a limited scale and primarily for stocking National Wildlife Refuges and other federal waters.

Visitors to the hatchery include individuals, couples, and families, church groups, senior groups, tours, and others from the local area, across the state and nation. School classes, pre-K thru 12, visit year round on field trips and as part of their life science curriculum. Student teachers from the nearby university use the facilities to learn field lab methods.

Biologists sharing fish stories. Credit: USFWS

Biologists sharing fish stories. Credit: USFWS

Special events, such as the annual open house during the weekend of National Fishing and Boating Week bring in several hundred visitors.

Visiting biologists and researchers have come from as far away as Turkmenistan to collaborate on the work done here.

The hatchery is open to all visitors and for group visits wishing a tour, call for scheduling and programs.


The Hatchery Office

The office is open Monday through Friday from 7am until 3:30pm. Call 318/352-5324 for more information.

Students see a dig site in 2003. Credit: USFWS

Students see a dig site in 2003. Credit: USFWS


Last updated: July 10, 2020