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 Fish 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

Youngsters of all ages are invited to join refuge staff in looking for frogs and other aquatic critters on March 22 at 10 am at the Kreuger Lake County Park on the old Jefferson Proving Ground.  Bring the mud books and wear old clothes as you may get muddy or wet.  Pre-registration...

Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge
Outdoor Activity

Learn how the unique features of Canaan Valley influence its weather patterns and the species that are found here as a result. When you leave, you’ll know what makes it a little piece of Canada gone astray.

This walk will meet at Beall trailhead. Click here for directions.

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Beall Trailhead

Rangers and volunteers will be available to help you earn your official Junior Ranger badge from 11 am - 2 pm.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Visitor Center
View all Events

Latest Stories

3 people in boat fishing
$20M to Support Boating Infrastructure, Local Communities and Outdoor Recreation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $20 million in grant funding to assist states and territories in the construction, renovation and maintenance of marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation. Reauthorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year’s...
A swimming eastern brook trout, a colorful fish with red fins along a yellow belly, and yellow and red spots on its olive green body.
Habitat Restoration
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners Announce More than $39.2 Million for Fish Habitat
Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners are providing more than $39.2 million to support 95 fish habitat conservation projects in 24 states.
A juvenile lake sturgeon in the palm of a hand.
Wildlife Management
States Receive $56 Million to Advance Conservation Efforts and Protect Vulnerable Wildlife
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing $56.5 million to state fish and wildlife agencies through the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Program to support conservation and stewardship efforts for imperiled wildlife and their habitats.
a gray bird perched on a tree limb next to green leaves
Land Management
US Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public input on proposed Southwest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Area
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is exploring the possibility of a new conservation area across Southwest Florida and asks for the public’s input. The Service is examining opportunities to provide conservation assistance within a study area, which stretches from Lakeland to Naples with Lake...
A person climbs a ladder up the side of a tall tree at night
Endangered Species Act
Partners help red-cockaded woodpeckers regain ground in Virginia
State, nonprofit, university, and federal partners have collaborated for years in Virginia to restore red-cockaded woodpecker habitat, and reintroduce birds from healthy populations in other parts of its range. 

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