Andrew Hulsey Hatchery Hot Springs, Arkansas
Named 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
The Arkansas Black Bass Program is stationed out of the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery and can be contacted there for questions pertaining to black bass conservation
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. Striped 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.
Other Fish Hatcheries in Arkansas
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,
362-3615 and the Norfork National Fish Hatchery
which is 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,
Besides the Hulsey Hatchery, Arkansas has four other state-owned fish hatcheries. Mammoth Spring Hatchery is a cold water hatchery that produces trout.
Charlie Craig State Fish Hatchery, Centerton, 1-877-795-2470
Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery, Lonoke, 1-877-676-6963
William H. Donham State Fish Hatchery, Corning 1-877-857-3876
Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery, Mammoth Spring, 1-877-625-7521
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’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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