The Fort Richardson State Fish Hatchery
As a public facility, the hatchery is open to visitors Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Please call in advance (428-1348) if more than 4 people.
The hatchery is located on Fort Richardson, a U.S. Army post near Anchorage, Alaska. The hatchery sits on the banks of Ship Creek, just downstream of the Glenn Highway. The facility was built in 1958 by the U.S. Army to provide fish for post lakes. The Fort Richardson Hatchery is being phased out and production is being transferred to the new William Jack Hernandez Hatchery.
The facility currently produces Arctic Char, Arctic Grayling, rainbow trout, Chinook (King) Salmon, and Coho (Silver) Salmon. Annual stocking goals call for production of over 300,000 catchable-size rainbow trout, 1.5 million rainbow trout fingerlings, over 2.5 million coho and king salmon (combined), 50,000 Arctic grayling, and 65,000 Arctic char. This represents more than 100,000 pounds of fish. All fish grown at Fort Richardson are released offsite, from Fairbanks to Kodiak. Currently, over 100 lakes and 11 streams are stocked. In addition to producing fry, fingerling, smolt and catchable fish; 4,000 mature (3-year-old) rainbow trout, weighing up to 6 pounds and 500 char weighing up to 12 pounds, are held as broodstock to produce 2 to 3 million eggs annually. Another 8,000 immature (1- and 2-year-old) rainbow trout and char are held as replacement broodstock.
William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery
Open to the public, you are welcome to stop by from 8 am to 4 pm and take a walk through the visitor corridor. This space was set aside for public access to allow viewing of hatchery activity.
This facility is located at the site of the old Elmendorf Hatchery.
With over 100 rearing tanks, there is space for production of more than 6,5 million sport fish each year. These fingerling (1" to 2"), smolt (3" to 5") and catchable (7"– 12") fish are released throughout South Central Alaska from Cordova to Kodiak, Homer, Kenai, Seward, Anchorage, Mat/Su and Talkeetna. Sport fishing activity supported through these fish releases accounts for over $20 million a year in economic impact on local ommunities.
Hatchery fish will be stocked in over 200 locations to provide diverse fishing experiences for 400,000 angler days in freshwater and marine during all seasons of the year. The hatchery produces Chinook and coho salmon, rainbow trout, Arctic grayling and Arctic char. In total, more than 3.7 million fingerlings, smolts and catchables will be released through the year.
Sadly, Hernandez died of cancer in 2003. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7665 honored him with a 21-gun salute. He was the epitome of Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” Without his drive and dedication, the fish rearing project at Fort Richardson would have never gotten off the ground. His life’s work made an enormous contribution to the sport and commercial fishing industry of the Cook Inlet region.
Operation and maintenance of the hatchery is partly funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which provides grant funds to state fish and wildlife agencies for fishery projects, boating access and aquatic education. The Program is authorized by the Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson) of 1950, and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, go to
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/ and http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/.