Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery
Southeast Region


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Welcome to the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery

Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery Sign. Credit: USFWS Image.

Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery Sign. Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Established: 1899.
  • This facility is a warmwater hatchery that was authorized by Congress in 1898.
  • The species propagated here do best in spring and summer water temperatures of 60 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Species such as striped bass, lake sturgeon, robust redhorse and alligator gar, vital to the fishery resources of the Southeastern United States and the Atlantic Coast are managed in cooperation with the various state game and fish agencies.
  • The staff includes four biologists and an electrician.
  • The Warm Springs NFH consists of 56 acres with 40 ponds totaling 18.23 acres of water.
  • The hatchery's primary area of concern is Georgia but work performed benefits species throughout the 10-state Southeast Region.



Station Goals

Harvesting Fish from Hatchery Pond. Credit: USFWS Image.

Above: Harvesting fish from hatchery pond.Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Restores and manages interjurisdictional coastal and riverine fishes such as striped bass, alligator gar, and lake sturgeon.
  • Recovers species listed under the Endangered Species Act, such as: the endangered Gulf sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon and imperiled freshwater mussels.
  • Develops culture techniques for native fishes and other aquatic animals.
  • Enhance and restore fish habitat in freshwater systems.





Activity Highlights


Road crossing assessment. Credit: USFWS Image.


lakeSturg1 Lake Sturgeon caught on the Wolf River in Wisconsin. Credit: WIDNR Image.

  • Two sturgeon species are currently on station:  Atlantic and lake sturgeon.
  • Gulf Coast strain striped bass are cultured and distributed for restoration work primarily in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River Basins of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
  • Sicklefin redhorse are reared on station for research related to recovery of this species.
  • Native and protected mussels are propagated and reared for host fish studies, population augmentations and reintroductions.
  • Assessment work includes monitoring survival of hatchery stocked fish; conductiong road crossing surveys of barriers to fish passage and conducting water quality analyses in selected river systems.








Fish Species and Capability

bankclimberPurple bankclimber. Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Gulf striped bass.
  • Lake sturgeon.
  • Alligator gar.
  • Sicklefin redhorse.
  • Bluegill and channel catfish for Kids Fish for Fun Event.
  • Freshwater mussel refugia and propogation.
  • Facilities include culture/ holding systems for intensive culture that includes: tanks for holding large fish, recirculated egg incubation/larval rearing systems for fish and mussels.
  • Dedicated facilities and systems for Lake Sturgeon and Alligator Gar.
  • Quarantine Building for holding fish and freshwater mussels for disease and invasive species control.
  • Water supply is from three springs; one spring supply has the capability of being buffered to meet the requirements of individual species.
  • Alkalinity Enhancement Building for treating spring water for hatchery use.




Sicklefin redhorse. Credit: USFWS Image



Kids enjoying touch tank. Credit: USFWS Image

Services Provided To

  • Federal agencies including other Fish and Wildlife Service program offices.
  • State agencies.
  • Native American Tribes.
  • Military bases.
  • Universities.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s).
  • The public.



Public Use Opportunities

  • Environmental education and public outreach opportunities to visitors, school groups, and various other organizations.
  • Beautiful surroundings and natural environment.
  • Aquatic display for off-site presentations.
  • Public aquarium and visitor’s area.
  • Outdoor classroom.
  • Volunteer Program.


    Kids Fish for Fun Event. Credit: USFWS Image.

    Kids Fish for Fun Event. Credit: USFWS Image.


Links of Interest

Last updated: June 24, 2020