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North Platte Fish HatcheryContact Information:
North Platte State Fish Hatchery 444 E. State Farm Road North Platte, NE 69101-7748 (308) 535-8030 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The North Platte State Fish Hatchery is located one mile south of North Platte, Nebraska on Highway 83 and ½ mile east on State Farm Road. The facility started with 9 one acre ponds in 1943 and has grown to 43 ponds totaling 41.3 acres of water.
The hatchery produces warm and cool water species of fish including northern pike, walleye, channel catfish, white bass, wipers, yellow perch, black crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
Northern pike, walleye, and white bass eggs are hatched at the facility. Most hatching activity occurs during late March through May. After hatching, the fry are placed in ponds and allowed to grow.
The North Platte hatchery is open to the public. Tours are given during normal working hours.
North Platte Hatchery Facilities
The North Platte hatchery produces warm and cool water fish. The four main fish that are raised at this hatchery are walleye, channel catfish, northern pike, and white bass.
Walleye, northern pike, and white bass are hatched from eggs and placed in ponds as fry. These fry stay in the ponds to grow to a desired size. Channel catfish are brought to the hatchery as fry and stocked in the ponds.
Adult northern pike are collected in late March from sandhill lakes. The eggs are collected from the adult northern pike, fertilized, and brought back to the hatchery to hatch. When the eggs start to develop eyes, they are called "eyed eggs." Eyed eggs are place in vegetation along the ponds edge, where they hatch and grow in the ponds until they are drained. Northern pike fingerlings are harvested at 1½ to 2 inches. Most of the northern pike are stocked in Nebraska water. Some are restocked in the ponds and grown to 10 to 14 inches.
Adult walleye are collected in early April from Nebraska reservoirs. The eggs are collected from the adult walleye, fertilized, and brought back to the hatchery to hatch. Once the eggs have hatched the fry are place in ponds to grow. Walleye fingerlings are 1 to 1½ inches when ponds are drained. Some walleye are restocked in ponds and grown to 9 inches.
Adult white bass are collected in May. The adults are brought to the hatchery, where they are spawned. The eggs are placed on a hatching battery and allowed to hatch. The fry are stocked in ponds to grow. White bass fingerlings are 1 to 2 inches when they are stocked in Nebraska waters.
Channel catfish fry are brought to the hatchery from out of state through trade agreements. The fry are stocked in ponds and fed a dry fish diet. In late fall, the 3 to 4 inch fish are placed in ponds where they stay over the winter. The next spring, the fish are stocked in hatchery ponds where they are grown to 10 to 12 inches. Once the channel catfish has reached this size, the pond is drained and the fish are stocked in Nebraska waters.
North Platte hatchery produces many other species. Depending on management requests, the hatchery has raised wipers, yellow perch, black crappie, bluegill, muskellunge, tiger musky, black bullheads, smallmouth bass, grass carp, and largemouth bass.