The Fillmore Fish Hatchery was dedicated as a state hatchery in 1932. It is one of 21 hatcheries operated by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The Fillmore Hatchery produces about 1 million rainbow trout, or about 400,000 lbs of fish, each year.
Fertile trout eggs are shipped to Fillmore from DFG broodstock hatcheries at Mount Whitney and Hot Creek, located in the eastern High Sierra. The fish are stocked in southern California lakes, reservoirs and streams accessible to the public for fishing. The hatchery operates year-round, 365 days a year. Through selective breeding, DFG has developed strains of rainbow trout that spawn during different months of the year.
There is netting over the pond to keep birds from pilfering the fish (before the netting they nabbed as much as 30% of the fish each year). The hatchery is run using funds raised from fishing licenses and taxes on sporting equipment.
The hatchery is located off Highway 126, about a mile east of downtown Fillmore. It is open 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is quite a fun place to bring the kids for a brief encounter with thousands of hungry fishies.
Fish feed is provided for free to the public in limited supply. Feed machines are filled no more than at 8 am and noon daily.