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National Fish Hatchery & Aquarium

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Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery is one of 69 Federal fish hatcheries located across the United States, and is the only Federal fish hatchery located in Louisiana. Opened in 1931, the hatchery has raised many different species of fish over the years, and is currently raising Alligator gar, Alligator snapping turtles, recreational fish species, and freshwater mussels. Louisiana is called Sportsman's Paradise reflecting a history steeped in the environment. As we work to protect our natural resources, we also aim to protect the cultural heritage of the people who were here long before us. Natchitoches NFH has been working with the Caddo Indian Nation for years to develop educational resources for the local school systems that teach about the Caddo way of life. The Aquarium at Natchitoches NFH contains displays featuring the Caddo people who use to inhabit the very land the hatchery is built on. In addition to our indoor displays there is also a memorial plaza located on the side of the Aquarium, dedicated to remembering the Caddo people who lived, died and were buried on now what is known at Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery.

The Aquarium

The Aquarium houses a variety of fish as well as three static displays. Thirteen of the sixteen tanks showcase a variety of warm water fish, alligators, and turtles. All species are quite common in this region. The aquarium is also proud to house a rare albino snapping turtle found in a local pond.

The other three tanks include a wood duck display, a replica Caddo Indian village, and a mock archeology dig site. The hatchery was once the site of the Natchitoches-Caddo peoplewho occupied the region before 1835. The famous explorer Henri de Tonti, who came here in 1690, met with the Natchitoches Indians on the very site the hatchery now occupies. For this reason, the hatchery grounds are actually classified as a State Historic Site. Archeology work on the station also resulted in a small parcel of hatchery land being listed in August 2005 on the National Register of Historic Places. Cultural heritage is a part of Louisiana's past and present and the hatchery continues to strive to educate the public about the Caddoan people and the hatchery's tie to their heritage. Both the replica village and the mock dig site reveal a lot about the culture of fish in this area as well as the cultural heritage of the Caddo people.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
The Hatchery Office:Monday through Friday from 7am until 3:30pm


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