Kids and families, together, like fish and water. It's a natural! Here are some ways to explore and share our aquatic worlds.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife operates sixteen fish propagation facilities that include hatcheries, rearing units, and a native aquatic species restoration facility. Visitors are welcome at every facility, some offering tours led by guides while others have self-guided tours. Drop-in visitors are welcome, though it is recommended that you call ahead to confirm tour availability and hours of operation.
To learn more, go to the Fish Hatcheries page, a new interactive map of Colorado hatcheries, with photos and visitor information for each.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service also operates hatcheries in Colorado, at two locations. One is in Hotchkiss, the other in Leadville. The Leadville hatchery is the second oldest federally operated hatchery still in existence. Both offer educational opportunities for individuals and groups. For more about these locations, see the Leadville National Fish Hatchery and the Hotchkiss hatchery.
The Fish Hatcheries Game!
Colorado Parks and Wildlife's hatcheries are important tools for managing Colorado’s fishery resources—lakes, ponds, rivers, streams. Hatchery managers and technicians use their math skills on a daily basis. Extensive understanding of life science, biology, and chemistry concepts underlie all of their decisions.
Put yourself 'in the shoes' of a hatchery manager! The Fish Hatchery Game mirrors a year in the life of a hatchery manager. The problems that you must solve are the real deal, and answer that age-old question of yours, "Why do I have to learn this stuff? I'll never have to use it again!" It takes knowledge, determination, and disciplined work to raise fish in Colorado. Are up to the task!
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has over 650 employees who use the skills they learned in school—and that you study every day. CPW employees are professionals in the fields of biology, engineering, education, conservation, wildlife research, wildlife law enforcement, management, and more. Separated by distance but united by a passion for wildlife, they live and work in both rural and urban communities throughout Colorado. They value their jobs, and are motivated by the certain knowledge that they are making a difference for wildlife and for people. But they couldn't do their jobs without math and science knowledge!
Help Out as You Learn
Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Volunteer Program has a quite a number of ways you can learn about fish rearing, hatcheries, and Colorado's fisheries, and, at the same time, provide an important and valuable service.
Volunteers help CPW personnel with fish spawning, creel census-taking, lab assistance, fish surveys, and river sampling. "More", you ask? How about helping as a tour guide, at a fish check station, a camp host at a hatchery, or staff one of many 'water festivals' around the state? Do you like to fish and share your experience? Help teach kids (and adults) at a fishing clinic!
Take a moment and explore these possibilities, and many others, in the pages of the Volunteer Program's newsletter, Call of the Wild. If you have questions about any of the projects, use the contact information provided with each, or write to one of the Volunteer Program's coordinators—Jena Sanchez, Chris Howard, or Trina Romero.
Educators—River Watch Offers Unique Aquatic Education Opportunities.
The River Watch program links environmental protection to education in a meaningful, hands-on project for Colorado residents. Participants are made up of middle and high school students, their teachers, watershed management groups and stakeholders. For more about this program, go the the River Watch website. Involve yourself and your students and make a contribution to Colorado's well-being at the same time!