Ouray National Fish Hatchery
Showing off an adult razorback sucker
In 1996, the Ouray National Fish Hatchery was established to aid in the recovery of endangered fish species the Colorado River Basin, species like Colorado pikeminnow, boneytail, razorback sucker and humpback chub. The actual facility is located on the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, with the hatchery about 1/2 mile off the Green River. Ouray NFH gets most of its needed water from a series of 7 shallow water wells along the course of the river.
The administrative offices are located about 35 miles away in a fisheries complex building in Vernal. The offices are shared with the Colorado River Fisheries Project, the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery and the US Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office.
Ouray NFH stocks about 15,000 small razorback suckers in the Green River every year. The razorback sucker was placed on the endangered species list in 1991. Ouray NFH has also been a major player in efforts to preserve the endangered Yampa Canyon humpback chub, a fish that seems to mostly occur only in the depths of Dinosaur National Monument.
Ouray National Fish Hatchery is generally open to the public, although some areas of the hatchery can only be entered as part of a guided tour. Larger groups are advised to call ahead and make arrangements.
An aerial view of the Ouray National Fish Hatchery