DEC Fish Hatchery FAQs
Each year, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers head out to the state's numerous lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in hopes of catching some fish. Many anglers may be unaware, however, that a number of the fish they catch were probably raised in one of New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fish hatcheries. For a listing of these facilities, see the table below. Click here for additional information on DEC hatchery facilities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Purpose of Hatcheries?
DEC hatcheries produce fish for stocking into more than 1,200 public waters across the state. The specialized equipment and modern facilities available at each hatchery allows DEC to produce large numbers of healthy fish.
Why Stock Fish?
Fish are stocked for several reasons. Some are stocked to enhance recreational fishing, others to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied.
How Many Hatcheries Are There?
DEC runs 12 fish hatcheries that are located across the state. Each hatchery specializes in raising one or more species of fish.
What Kinds of Fish Are Stocked?
Numerous species of fish are produced at the hatcheries, including brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, landlocked salmon, walleye, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, lake sturgeon, paddlefish and round whitefish.
How Many Fish Are Produced?
Together, DEC's hatcheries annually produce close to 1,000,000 pounds of fish, resulting in stocking of several million fish.
Where Do the Fish Come From?
Several of the fish produced at the hatcheries develop from eggs taken from adult fish reared in the hatcheries. Adult fish kept at the hatchery for the purpose of providing eggs are called broodstock.
Another source of eggs is from adult fish from local waters. These fish are captured by hatchery personnel and then spawned. With the exception of the Pacific salmon, the spawning process involves gently squeezing the eggs from the female and then fertilizing the eggs with milt squeezed from the males. The adult fish are then returned to the water unharmed.
How Are Fish Transported?
Most fish are taken to stocking sites on trucks specifically equipped with tanks of oxygenated water. Over the course of a year, DEC stocking trucks log more than 500,000 miles. Some remote waters are stocked by airplane or helicopter.
When Are Fish Stocked?
In order to ensure the best survival for stocked fish, the various life stages of fish are stocked at different times of the year. Fingerlings (young fish three to five inches long) are generally stocked in the fall. Yearlings (older fish six to nine inches long) are stocked in the spring.
When to Plan a Hatchery Visit?
Hatcheries are informative and fun to visit any time of the year. To see what fish species are present at each hatchery, and the hatchery location and available visiting times, check the table below.
Where are the Hatcheries Located?
The table below provides the location and related information about each DEC hatchery, you may also visit the Google Maps and Earth Page and scroll down to the "DEC Lands" data set to view the locations of DEC's Fish Hatcheries in Google Earth.
|Hatchery||Location||Visiting Hours||Major Species||Spawning Season|
|Adirondack: 103 Fish Hatchery Rd.,
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
|Off Rte. 30, one mile south of Lake Clear||9am-4pm April 1 - Dec 30||Landlocked salmon||Nov 1- Nov 15|
|Bath: 7169 Fish Hatchery Rd.,
Bath, NY 14810
|Off Rte. 54, one mile north of Bath||8am-3:45 pm daily||Brown, rainbow, and lake trout||None|
|Caledonia: 16 North Street
Caledonia, NY 14423
|Rte. 36, between Mumford and Caledonia||8am-4pm every day, year round||Brown trout||None|
|Catskill: 402 Mongaup Rd.,
Livingston Manor, NY 12758
|Mongaup Road in DeBruce||8:30am- 4pm Mon.-Fri.; 8:30am - 12pm, Sat-Sun||Brown trout||Sept.|
|Chateaugay: 122 Fish Hatchery Rd.,
Chateaugay, NY 12920
|Off Rte 11 .75 miles east of Chateaugay||8 am-3 pm every day, year round||Brook, brown, rainbow, lake trout||None|
|Chautauqua: 5875 Pendergast Blvd.
Mayville, NY 14757
|Off Rte. 394 in Mayville||8am - 3pm Mon-Fri.; Memorial Day-Labor Day||Muskellunge, walleye||Mid April|
|Oneida: Box 303
Constantia, NY 13044
|Off Rte. 49 in Constantia||8am-4pm; every day April 1-Oct 1||Walleye, lake sturgeon, paddlefish||Late Mar- early Apr|
|Randolph:10943 Hatchery Rd.,
Randolph, NY 14772
|Off Rte. 394, two miles east of Randolph||9am-3:30pm every day, year round||Brook, brown and rainbow trout||Sept., Oct.|
|Rome:8306 Fish Hatchery Rd.
Rome, NY 13440
|Off Rte. 46 two miles north of Rome||9am-3:30 pm every day, year round||Brook and brown trout||None|
|Salmon River: 2133 County Route 22
Altmar, NY 13302
|Off Rte. 13 in Altmar, one mile northeast of Village of Altmar||8:30am-3:30pm every day, Mar 15-Nov 30||Brown trout, steelhead and chinook and coho salmon||Late March - early April and Sept-Oct|
|South Otselic: Box 170, Route 26,
South Otselic, NY 13155
|Rte. 26 in South Otselic||8am-3pm Mon-Fri.; year round||Walleye, brook trout, tiger muskellunge||None|
|Van Hornesville: 1285 Chyle Rd., Van Hornesville, NY 13475
|Van Hornesville||8:30am-3:30pm every day, year round||Rainbow trout||None|