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.

December 6 - 8, 2022 Portland, Oregon

The 2022 Northwest Fish Culture Concepts Meeting will be held December 6-8 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon. This meeting is being organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our theme this year is "Cultivating Success –...

Carson National Fish Hatchery
Entiat National Fish Hatchery
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery
Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery
Willard National Fish Hatchery
Makah National Fish Hatchery
Quilcene National Fish Hatchery
Quinault National Fish Hatchery
Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery
Winthrop National Fish Hatchery
Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery
Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery
Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Dworshak National Fish Hatchery
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland
Outdoor Activity

Experience the refuge after dark. Join refuge staff and members of the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club for a full moon and planets viewing. This program will take place Tuesday December 6, with a backup date of Thursday December 8 depending on sky conditions. Registration is...

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Sub-Headquarters, Refuge Rd, Newbury, MA
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
View all Events

Latest Stories

Two California condors in a flight pen perching with their wings outstretched. Another condor can be seen in the background.
Our Partners
Working with Tribes
One of our top priorities is working together with those who have stewarded the country’s lands and wildlife since time immemorial. Native American Tribes have long dedicated themselves to management and conservation of fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Read about a few of the projects were we...
Close up of a small spotted brown and black toad on blades of brown and green grass.
Endangered Species Act
Service lists Dixie Valley toad, found only in Nevada, as endangered
Following a review of the best available scientific information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined the Dixie Valley toad is at risk of extinction and is listing the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, continuing the protections applied to the toad in the...
A plant with white and pink flowers
Endangered Species Act
Two Channel Islands plant species reach recovery thanks to Endangered Species Act
Ventura, Calif. - Two plants that live on California’s Channel Islands and nowhere else on earth – the Santa Cruz Island dudleya and island bedstraw – have reached recovery thanks to Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing to remove the...
Northern long-eared bat with white-nose syndrome in a cave
Endangered Species Act
Northern long-eared bat reclassified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act
The bat, listed as threatened in 2015, now faces extinction due to the rangewide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting hibernating bats across North America. The rule takes effect on January 30, 2023. The growing extinction crisis highlights the importance of the Endangered...
A rescued young alligator snapping turtle on a grassy field.
Wildlife Management
Critical Progress as CITES CoP19 Comes to a Close
After working around the clock for two weeks, the Biden-Harris administration announced it has forged critical agreements to ensure legal, traceable and biologically sustainable international trade of wild animals and plants.
Honeybees storing honey and pollen on an apiary frame
Bee thankful for pollinators
Who helps prepare your holiday meals? Do they have wings, antennae and six legs? If you’re eating apple pie, cranberry sauce and other common dishes, they do! By helping plants reproduce, bees and other pollinators make our special dinners possible. Meet a few of these busy bees in this article.

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.


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