Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery

Andrew Hulsey Hatchery Hot Springs, Arkansas
Manager: Don Brader - Retired
Assistant Hatchery Manager: Steve Lewis
1-877-525-8606  or  (501) 525-9063
District 8: Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Pike, and Polk Counties.
GPS: N34.407025 W93.06131

Harvey Couch, former president of Arkansas Power and Light donated 135 acres of woodland on the south shore of Lake Hamilton for the development of a hatchery. The land was handed over to the commission in 1939, and clearing of the forested land began the same year by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and commission employees. The hatchery, located on the south side of Lake Hamilton was initially called the Lake Hamilton Fish Hatchery. In 1987, the hatchery was renamed the Andrew H. Hulsey State Fish Hatchery in honor of former commission director Andrew Howard Hulsey. Construction of the hatchery ponds and facilities began in 1940, and more ponds were added in the 1950's. Today, it totals forty-two ponds. The hatchery now provides around three million fingerling to the state's lakes and ponds, making it one of the most successful sport fish hatcheries in the nation.

Andrew Hulsey Fish HatcheryNamed after Andrew Hulsey a biologist who joined the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission in 1952. Hulsey developed a system of fish nursery ponds that became the envy of states across the country. Andrew Hulsey was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2003

With a new building and state-of-the-art equipment, the Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery in Hot Springs is now able to provide more striped bass, hybrid striped bass and walleye to the state's fisheries. Don Brader, warm water coordinator and hatchery manager, said with the new facilities the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission can now provide almost double the number of fry to other hatcheries. ''We couldn't have those babies if we didn't have the building to work with,'' he said. The $1.8 million building is 3,700 square feet.

Andrew Hulsey Hatchery SignStriped bass, hybrid striped bass and walleye have previously been spawned at the hatchery, now with the new equipment and increased amounts of water available, the fish can now be hatched onsite, and in greater numbers before being sent to other state hatcheries.

The hatchery also began hatching walleye, Brader said. ''Until we had this building, we didn't have the capabilities to hatch the walleye eggs we had been taking. We had to send them to the Charlie Craig State Fish Hatchery at Centerton,'' he noted. The hatchery produced an estimated 800,000 walleye in February and April, along with 2.7 million stripers and 3.5 million hybrid stripers that were hatched.

Water is pumped from Lake Hamilton through a 1,100-foot pipe and is then filtered by five sand filters and stored in a 3,000-gallon head tank where the water can be retrieved when needed. It is passed through an ultraviolet sterilizer where UV radiation kills any remaining bacteria. Then it is passed through a chiller or a heater. ''(The fish) are very intolerant to water temperature change,'' Brader said. ''Fertilized eggs of each fish species develop at different temperatures and we have to provide the appropriate temperature for successful hatching.'' When the eggs hatch, the fry are transferred to round tanks, where they will grow until they are ready to be taken to Hulsey Hatchery ponds or shipped to other hatcheries, Brader said.

Besides the Hulsey Hatchery, Arkansas has four other state-owned fish hatcheries.  Mammoth Spring Hatchery is a cold water hatchery that produces trout.

In Diamond City near Bull Shoals Lake, a new $1.3 million fish hatchery is expected to open soon. The AG&FC hatchery for crappie will host a nursery pond and dam on a tributary of Bull Shoals Lake. The 21-acre facility is being built with a 75-25 matching grant from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Arkansas is also home to three Federal Fish Hatcheries:

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service  operate the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery which produce rainbow trout for restocking in the cold tailwaters of Greers Ferry Dam, as well as below other dams and in suitable reservoirs. The GreersFerry Hatchery hatchery is located at 349 Hatchery Road in Heber Springs, Arkansas. (501)362-3615.

The Norfork National Fish Hatchery  - a cold water hatchery that primarily produces trout for the tailwaters below Norfork and Bull Shoals dams. More than 2 million rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout are raised and stocked throughout Arkansas and surrounding states annually from this hatchery. The Norfork hatchery is located at 1414 Hwy. 177 S. in Mountain Home, Arkansas. (870) 499-5255.

The Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery - Established in 1903, located in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, just across from the Missouri border about 65 miles northwest of Jonesboro, Arkansas. The hatchery is one of the oldest in the United States, and was built in the Ozark foothills in northeast Arkansas due to the availability of cool gravity flow water from the world’s tenth largest spring and easy access to the railroad. Current programs involve the restoration of interjurisdictional fishes (paddlefish and sturgeon); recovery of endangered and threatened species including freshwater mussels; restoration of Gulf Coast Striped Bass populations; restoration of walleye, smallmouth bass and rainbow trout in the White River drainage; and fishery management and stocking recreational fish on national wildlife refuges.

Arkansas's role in the federal fish hatchery system designed to conserve, protect, and enhance the fish population nationwide for the benefit of all Americans is key.

Arkansas is the systems leader in trout production, has the single Gulf Coast striped bass facility in the world, and engages universities in collaborative research efforts

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