Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery
Southeast Region


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Frequently Asked Questions


    Q: What kind of fish do you raise?

    A: Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery is a coldwater fish hatchery which means we raise fish that do best in water temperatures below 60 degrees. Species currently in production at this facility are rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout.

    Q: Where do the eggs come from?

    A: The rainbow trout eggs come from one of three other Federal hatcheries: Erwin NFH in Tennessee; Ennis NFH in Montana; and White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia. The brown trout eggs come from the Saratoga NFH, Wyoming. All of the eggs are received overnight by Federal Express. The brook trout eggs come from the Egan SFH in Utah.

    Q: What size are the fish when stocked?

    A: A small number of fish are stocked at four inches, six inches, and eight inches to meet specific management needs. The majority of our fish are stocked as a catchable nine inch fish.

    Q: How long does it take from the egg stage to stocking size?

    A: It takes 16-18 months to get a trout from the egg stage to nine inches.

    Q: Where do you stock the fish raised here?

    A: Most of the fish are stocked into Federal mitigation waters in Kentucky. The other fish are provided to the Commonwealth of Kentucky under a reimbursable agreement to meet management goals in state controlled waters. A total of 115 different waters in Kentucky are stocked with trout from this facility. A small number of fingerlings are provided to the Cherokee Indian Tribe in North Carolina.

    Q: Do you provide or sell fish to private individuals?

    A: All fish raised at this facility are stocked into public fishing waters.

    Q: What do you feed them?

    A: A special formulated trout diet very high in protein to obtain optimal growth. No cat food or dog food is used.

    Q: Where does the water come from?

    A: The hatchery water is received gravity flow from Lake Cumberland at a rate of 12,000-15,000 g.p.m. The water is used one time then empties into the Cumberland River.

    Q: Do you provide all trout stocked in Kentucky?

    A: Yes. The entire trout fishing program in Kentucky relies solely on the production of the Wolf Creek NFH.





A red-headed boy with glasses grins as he holds a line of rainbow trout
A bundle of rainbow trout! Photo: USFWS.

Rainbow trout swimming in water
Rainbow trout. Photo: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Last updated: April 4, 2016