Uvalde National Fish Hatchery
Southwest Region
 

Coronavirus Update

Although most refuge and hatchery lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check the refuge or hatchery website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.

Current Policies
The Department of the Interior’s current COVID-19 policy incorporates CDC guidance. As CDC science-based guidance changes, our policy will adapt. Visitors have always been encouraged by DOI to review CDC guidance when making their plans to recreate responsibly. CDC guidance indicates that fully vaccinated people are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. Unvaccinated people must wear a mask indoors in DOI buildings at all times and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands. We will continue to ask visitors to follow CDC guidance to recreate responsibly.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Overview

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The Uvalde National Fish Hatchery is located near Uvalde, TX, approximately 90 miles southwest of San Antonio, TX, and is situated on 100 acres of former mesquite grasslands. Visitors are always welcome at the hatchery and may participate in a guided or unguided tour of the facilities. Stop by our Visitor Information page for Visitor Center hours, area map, trail map, and directions to the hatchery.

The facilities at the hatchery include 50 ponds, a newly completed intensive culturing facility and a high tech water supply system.  The two-acre wildlife pond located across from the Visitor Center features a walking path with several points for bird watching and wildlife observation. The hatchery also features an Outdoor Classroom as part of its Environmental Education program.

History

Establishment of the hatchery originated from a 100 acre land donation by the County of Uvalde in 1935. This donation came shortly after the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934 which allowed for the acceptance of land donations to be used for the protection, rearing, stocking, and increase of game supply. Construction began on October 1, 1935 under a Works Progress Administration (WPA) program, and was mostly complete in 1937, with commencement of operations beginning in 1938.

Originally, the hatchery was operated by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife.  The original mission included the stocking of ranch ponds in southern Texas, as well as large reservoirs in New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Species raised at that time included largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish. The station has also operated as the Uvalde Fish Cultural Station under the U.S. Department of Commerce. Historically, the hatchery has reared Florida-strain largemouth bass, Guadalupe bass, striped bass, paddle fish, Yaqui catfish, blue catfish, northern pike, walleye, Tilapia, and gar. 

With the passing of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 the hatchery’s mission expanded towards restoration and mitigation stockings. Today the hatchery is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and focuses on propagation efforts to promote the recovery and or restoration of threatened and endangered species. Currently, the hatchery works with five threatened or endangered species and raises channel catfish for recreational fishing.

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Last updated: August 2, 2021