Many national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries offer a range of recreational and educational opportunities for visitors — tourists and locals alike.​

Find an FWS Facility Near You

Visit a National Wildlife Refuge Facility

Protected Lands and Waters

The Refuge System administers lands and waters across the U.S. and territories, including:

  • 567 National Wildlife Refuges
  • 38 Wetland Management Districts
  • 5 Marine National Monuments
  • 63 Refuges with Wilderness Areas

The Purpose of Refuges

Each refuge is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its land and waters.

Things to Do and See

Where consistent with their primary purpose, refuges also offer activities for people, such as:

  • Hunting and fishing
  • Birdwatching and wildlife photography
  • Hiking and canoeing
  • Scientific research

 

Find A Refuge

Visit a National Fishery Hatchery

National Fish Hatcheries and You

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature, or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National fish hatcheries provide many opportunities for you to help your community, fish, and wildlife by doing what you love.  

The Purpose of Hatcheries 

Seventy fish hatcheries across the nation work with states and Tribes to produce and distribute fish for recreational and conservation purposes and provide refuge for endangered species. The hatcheries also provide outdoor opportunities from fishing events and tours to numerous education activities.  

Things to Do and See 

Nearly one million people visit the National Fish Hatchery System every year for incredible opportunities to hike, bird, fish, visit an aquarium, and learn more about fish conservation. 

  • Take part in a fishing derby 
  • See a freshwater fish aquarium 
  • Explore a nature trail 

 

Find A Hatchery

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge and national fish hatchery facilities.

Outdoor Activity

Guided bird walking tours will take place around the Visitor Center and Observation Building where you could see a variety of ducks, geese, cranes, and other birds.

No reservations required Meet outside the Visitor Center at 8:00 AM (Note: Visitor Center building is still closed for...
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge - Visitor Center

Join us at the Kettle Pond Visitor Center on Wednesdays from 10:00am-11:00am for a story time that is sure to be great fun for the youngest of naturalists.

Nature enthusiast Claudia Townend will share a nature-based story, followed...

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
Kettle Pond Visitor Center
Outdoor Activity

Join Naturalist Louise Bacon-Ogden for a walk along the Shorebird Loop Trail.

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Salmon Creek Unit - Visitor Center & Shorebird Loop Trail
View all Events

Latest Stories

5 spread-out people in lush area
Habitat Restoration
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: 2022 Annual Report
At its core, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a significant investment in the nation’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness. For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the funding will build on proven projects, programs and partnerships that protect our cherished wildlife and natural...
A green hummingbird with white chest and red throat perches at red feeder
Nature out your window
You don’t need to go far, or even outside, to discover nature and its mental health benefits. The nearest window can reveal plants and animals going about their business undisturbed and free for the viewing. 
a grey and brown bird resting on a small branch
Endangered Species Act
Five species on San Clemente Island declared fully recovered
Decades of collaborative conservation efforts on U.S. Navy-owned San Clemente Island resulted in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement today that five species – San Clemente Island paintbrush, lotus, larkspur and bush-mallow plants and San Clemente Bell’s sparrow have fully recovered...
Male wood duck sitting on teal-green water with ripples, facing right with an orange bill, green head and rusty chest
Get Involved
Where Art and Science Meet
Growing up I always doodled. I scribbled on everything and everything I could get my hands on (even things I shouldn’t, like my bedroom walls). It was how I was able to express myself and share the world through my eyes.
Female fenders blue butterfly on a small pink flower. Wings are spread out and you can see the brownish blue color on top with an outline of white on the wings.
Endangered Species Act
Partnership-Driven Conservation Gives Oregon Butterfly Wings
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Fender’s blue butterfly, once thought to be extinct, is fluttering toward recovery under the Endangered Species Act. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified Fender’s blue butterfly from endangered to threatened and finalized a special rule that makes it easier...
Highland Dam Removal Site on the West Fork River in West Virginia
Habitat Restoration
Fish show up after infrastructure 'glow-up'
Across the country, people are transforming and replenishing the landscape—creating new opportunities to connect with nature, improving safety around waterways, and opening river access to aquatic species.

Ways to Get Involved

Whether as a visitor to a refuge, a volunteer, a coworker, a formal partner, or more, there's plenty of ways we can work together to conserve and protect our natural resources. Here's just a few...

Learning Opportunities

We offer many types of learning opportunities including formal and informal training. Some of the education we offer includes job training, career enhancement training, education for environmental or technical professionals, and students.

Youth Programs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) enjoys a proud history working with a range of youth organizations to help young people develop academic, leadership, and citizenship skills.

Partnerships

The Fish and Wildlife Service enters into agreements with a wide range of organizations at the national, regional and local levels.

Volunteering Opportunities

We have lots of ways to help out, for the short term or long, on the ground or in the office. We truly value our volunteer colleagues.

Get Involved