Fish Hatcheries

Figure 4.16: Travis Slivka with rainbow trout.

There are three fish hatcheries in the Flathead Watershed. The federal Creston National Fish Hatchery is located 12 miles (19 km) east of Kalispell in the community of Creston. It was built in 1939 to support fishing efforts in Glacier National Park, but now provides rainbow trout for fishery management on seven of Montana’s Tribal Reservations, and stocks fish for mitigation purposes under the Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Mitigation Program. 406.758.6868.

The Flathead Lake State Fish Hatchery is located on the shore of Flathead Lake between Somers and Lakeside off U.S. Highway 93. The state-run facility was built in 1912 in the hope of creating a commercial lake whitefish industry for the lake. They have switched almost fully to hatching kokanee salmon eggs from wild spawning runs. They also raise grayling, westslope cutthroat and collect eggs from a cutthroat-rainbow hybrid called a “cutbow.” 406.857.3744.

The Jocko River State Fish Hatchery is located on the north edge of Arlee, 30 miles (48 km) south of Polson. Using broodstock, this state-run hatchery raises a fast-growing breed of trout known as the Arlee Rainbow that reach up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg). The hatchery produces about 6 million eggs a year. 406.726.3344.

Figure 4.18: Mill Creek at Creston Fish Hatchery

Figure 4.17: Kids Fish Fun Fair Raceways.

Figure 4.19: Rainbow trout. Figure 4.20: Duck Race Bridge over Mill Creek.
Source for all photos: Creston Fish Hatchery

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