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State Fish Hatcheries Again Open To The Public
Shown, a CDFW hatchery in San Joaquin County. Most hatcheries have reopened to the public after a long closure during the pandemic. CDFW Photo

Twenty-one of the 22 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) state fish hatcheries have reopened to the public. The facilities have been closed to visitors for nearly two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, although hatchery operations and stocking efforts continued without significant interruption.

Kern River Hatchery remains temporarily closed to the public while water supply pipelines are being upgraded. However, the public is welcome again at outdoor areas of all other hatcheries, including raceways and picnic spots. Hatcheries offer numerous activities including fish feeding, nature walks and educational kiosks.

“A visit to a fish hatchery is a fun-filled outing for both kids and adults – and it’s free, which is a difficult opportunity to find in today’s world,” said Ken Kundargi, CDFW’s Hatchery Program Manager. “The staff are excited to welcome the public back. The atmosphere at our hatcheries has just not been the same without visitors. Please come see us soon.”

For many California residents, it’s less than an hour drive to the nearest fish hatchery or a short detour to stop and take a break on a longer trip. Information about specific hatcheries, including locations, hours, directions and safety guidelines can be found on the CDFW website.

Please note that indoor areas at all hatchery facilities, including visitors’ centers, will remain closed at this time. Also, some outdoor areas at hatcheries may still have public safety restrictions in place due to facility improvement projects that are in progress.