September 30, 2016 - The hatchery is temporarily closed for tours until renovations are completed, however, the grounds are open for visitation with some areas marked as not accessible.
Damage from June 2016 Flood
The force of floodwaters undermined buildings and water lines, destroyed roads, bridges, trails and fences, and eroded Wade’s Creek stream banks.
Buildings were inundated with water and mud, insulation was damaged in some areas, and mechanical and electrical systems were damaged or destroyed. Many pumps and chillers must be replaced to maintain ongoing mussel and crayfish culture.
Impacts on Operations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with other hatcheries in the National Broodstock Program to meet demands for 9.2 million trout eggs that would have been provided to states and tribes by the WSSNFH. These eggs are needed for recreational fishing programs across the country.
All freshwater mussels and crayfish survived, however, some mussels were returned to the Ohio River because numerous culture systems were damaged. Some culture of mussels and crayfish continues.
Rebuilding the Hatchery
Some funding has been secured through the Federal Highways Administration to begin repairing roads, bridges and trails.
A Rich History
The hatchery raises disease-free rainbow trout, and ships 9.2 million rainbow trout eggs annually to 26 federal, state and tribal hatcheries in 16 states, where the fish are grown and then stocked into our nation’s rivers so American’s can enjoy fishing, and the big catch at dinner.
The hatchery operates a state-of-the-art aquatic resource restoration center, to recover endangered species of freshwater mussels and crayfish, and restore the health of our rivers. Much like oysters and coral reefs that filter massive amounts of water, freshwater mussels play a very important role in maintaining water quality and supporting the ecological health of our rivers. The hatchery raises ten species of freshwater mussels, including 3 endangered species native to the Ohio River.
Biologists also are developing culture methods to help recover threatened and endangered crayfish, like the Big Sandy and Guyandotte River crayfishes in West Virginia.
In addition to serving the public as a national fish hatchery and native species recovery center, it is a place to recreate, relax and learn. The hatchery grounds are open till dusk all year long. Children ride bikes and adults read a book under big shade trees along the creek. Visitors enjoy accessible walking trails on the grounds, a hike up the neighboring mountain or a tour of the hatchery. Indeed, visitors, Scout groups and schools have been enjoying tours for decades.
The White Sulphur Springs Rotary Club and Friends of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery also help operate the annual kids fishing derby on Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend, and the annual Freshwater Folk Festival on the second Saturday in September.
White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery (WSSNFH) is located along the historic Midland Trail in the heart of the Allegheny Highlands of southeast West Virginia. Established in 1900 to produce fish for the American Public, WSSNFH became part of the National Broodstock Program in 1976. Since then hatchery personnel have shipped millions of disease-free rainbow trout eggs to hatcheries across the country. In 1995, the hatchery added a new program, freshwater mussel conservation. Today, we provide shelter for mussels threatened by pollution and raise baby mussels to improve wild populations.The Mission of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery is working with the community and our partners to be good stewards of both the environment and historical significance of White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery by providing recreational fishing opportunities, recovering fish, mussels and other wildlife and their habitats, and promoting awareness and appreciation of our cultural and natural resources for the benefit of all people.
White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery