Dexter National Fish Hatchery


Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center

Located in the Pecos River Valley in Dexter, New Mexico the Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center currently houses more than 1 million fish from 15 different species of threatened and endangered fish. The primary objective of the work done at Dexter NFH is to reintroduce these various species to their native habitats in such a manner as to give the fish a better chance at survival in this modern world. Dexter also works to maintain populations of fish in case of some catastrophic loss that happens in the real world.

Dexter first opened its doors in 1932, charged with rearing populations of warm-water game fish for sport fishing. Then the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973. That brought four species of endangered fish to Dexter in 1974. In 1978, the mission at Dexter was redefined to drop breeding game fish in favor of housing and protecting only endangered fish species. In 1991, the Center evolved into one of only seven fish technology centers in the US, creating new technology, performing life history studies and analyzing fish genetics. In 2005 a Fish Health Unit was added to the Center.

Today, Dexter NFH breeds species like the Leon Springs pupfish, Big Bend gambusia, Gila topminnow, Pecos gambusia, Razorback sucker, Chihuahua chub, Bonytail chub, Colorado pikeminnow, Guzman beautiful shiner, Desert pupfish, Comanche Springs pupfish, Woundfin, Virgin River chub, Rio Grande silvery minnow and Pahranagat roundtail chub.