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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.

For more information about each DEC fish hatchery, you can contact the hatchery manager directly.

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.

List of New York State DEC Fish Hatcheries
Hatchery Location Visiting Hours Major Species Spawning Season
Adirondack: 103 Fish Hatchery Rd.,
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
(518) 891-3358
Off Rte. 30, one mile south of Lake Clear 9am-3:30pm April 1 - Dec 30 Landlocked salmon Nov 1- Nov 15
Bath: 7169 Fish Hatchery Rd.,
Bath, NY 14810
(607) 776-7087
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
(585) 538-6300
Rte. 36, between Mumford and Caledonia 8am-4pm every day, year round Brown trout None
Catskill: 402 Mongaup Rd.,
Livingston Manor, NY 12758
(845) 439-4328
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
(518) 497-6151
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
(716) 789-2705
Off Rte. 394 in Mayville 8am - 3pm Mon-Fri.; Memorial Day-Labor Day Muskellunge, walleye Mid April
Oneida: Box 303
Constantia, NY 13044
(315) 623-7311
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
(716) 358-4755
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
(315) 337-1390
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
(315) 298-5051
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
(315) 653-7727
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
(315) 858-0857
Van Hornesville 8:30am-3:30pm every day, year round Rainbow trout None

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    Albany, NY 12233
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