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Idaho Fish and Game

Niagara Springs Fish Hatchery

Niagara Springs Hatchery is located in the Snake River Canyon 10 miles south of Wendell, Idaho.  From Interstate 84, take exit 157 and head south towards the Snake River.  Follow the signs for Niagara Springs State Park into the canyon and watch for the hatchery entrance road.

Niagara Springs Hatchery is owned and financed by Idaho Power Company, and operated and staffed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.  With a capacity to rear nearly two million steelhead smolts annually, it is one of America’s largest privately-owned steelhead rearing facilities.

Site Overview
Niagara Springs Hatchery was built in 1966 as a rearing facility for steelhead.  In 2013, Idaho Power completed a two-year renovation of the hatchery. The project included construction of a 23,000-square-foot hatchery building, a modern water filtration system, an improved feeding apparatus and predator exclusion equipment.  The new hatchery building includes an observation room that allows visitors to get a good look at the indoor rearing operation.  

Niagara Springs Hatchery is named after the spring that serves as its water source. The water is clean, clear and, most importantly, warmer than the water in which naturally-spawned steelhead grow up. The spring water creates the ideal environment for the fish to achieve the equivalent of two years’ growth in just one year.

Each April and May, eggs from adult steelhead spawned by crews at Idaho Power hatcheries in the Snake and Salmon river basins are delivered to Niagara Springs Hatchery to begin the rearing cycle.  Fish are initially reared indoors and then finish their rearing cycle outdoors in concrete raceways.  In March, crews begin hauling the year-old fish back to Hells Canyon and the Pahsimeroi River, where they will begin a journey of more than 500 miles to the ocean. The spring fish haul takes about six weeks to complete.

Niagara Springs Hatchery has proven to be a tremendous asset in the rearing of steelhead. In the wild, less than 5 percent of the eggs hatch and survive to migrate to the ocean. At Niagara Springs Hatchery, more than 80 percent of the eggs received from Pahsimeroi and Oxbow hatcheries survive to make their ocean journey.

Due to ongoing construction, the hatchery will be closed to all public access until Spring 2021. If you have questions concerning this closure please call the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359. Anglers can still access the two-acre park on the east-side of Niagara Springs Creek that is owned by Idaho Power. This small park includes a restroom, picnic tables, barbecue grills and refuse containers.

Species Production
Niagara Springs Hatchery is one of four hatcheries which IPC owns and IDFG staffs and operates to fulfill IPC's mitigation requirement for the IPC dams on the Snake River. The goal of Niagara Springs Hatchery is to rear 400,000 pounds of steelhead smolts annually to sustain steelhead trout runs in the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam and the Salmon River and its tributaries.

Learn more about these fish and others in our fish identification section.
2131 Niagara Springs Rd.
Wendell, ID 83355
(208) 536-2283

location map

aerial view of Niagara Springs hatchery complex

overview of Niagara Springs hatchery raceways

elevation view of Niagara Springs hatchery building
Last Updated: September 30, 2014 
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