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.

Presentation

New England birdwatchers are blessed by the number and variety of ducks they can see in area wetlands, lakes and ponds, and coastal waters. Some species are year-round residents, while others only pass through our region during spring and fall migrations. Still others are strictly winter...

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wetlands give a lot back to the community, much of which goes unseen. From issues like flood control to recreation, protecting these fragile ecosystems is vitally important. Join ACE member Zoe in learning about why and how we protect this area, and the hidden functions of our wetland...

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Freeland Boardwalk
Festival

Join us for the 43rd Annual Eagle Days Event at Loess Bluffs NWR in partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). After the very first cancellation of the event in 2020 and a modified event in 2021, we are jumping back into all the fun...

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge
Loess Bluffs NWR Headquarters
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...
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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.
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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.

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