Andrew Hulsey Hatchery Hot Springs, Arkansas
Manager: Jeff Newman
Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Pike, and Polk Counties.
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
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. Construction
of the hatchery ponds and facilities began in 1940, and more ponds were
added in the 1950s. 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. The hatchery, located on the south side of Lake Hamilton was initially called
the Lake Hamilton Fish Hatchery.
With a new
3,700 square foot 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
(retired), 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.
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
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.
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. 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 Hatchery ponds or
shipped to other hatcheries.
Besides the Hulsey Hatchery, Arkansas has four other
state-owned fish hatcheries
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.
facility is being built with a 75-25 matching grant from the Army Corps of
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 Greers
Ferry Hatchery hatchery is located at 349 Hatchery Road in Heber Springs,
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.
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 worldâ€™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
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