California Department of Fish and Wildlife

San Joaquin Fish Hatchery

About the Facility

San Joaquin River water rushes through the long narrow raceways, home to over 1 million rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon.

Eggs and newly hatched eggs (called alevin) prefer the dark, so the first months of their lives are spent under covered troughs in the hatchery building. After the alevin's yolk sac is absorbed the fish journey up to start feeding. Once they become fingerlings (finger-size), all Kokanee salmon and some rainbow trout are planted. The majority of trout are moved outside where they will spend the next 9 months growing to 12-14 inches and reaching at least a half a pound. These “catchable” trout are then planted in lakes and streams in Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Mariposa and Kern counties.

Currently, the hatchery plants 750,000 catchable-size rainbow trout annually. But, some fish are kept for up to 3 years and reach 10 pounds before being planted, wouldn't it be fun to catch one of those!

Photos of trout as eyed eggs, alevin, fingerlings, and trophy-size fish

Go fish! The San Joaquin Hatchery provides recreational fishing opportunities for the public to enjoy!

Hatchery worker planting trout     rainbow trout swimming

angler fishing     family holding trout