Kootenay Trout Hatchery and Visitor Centre

About the Kootenay Trout Hatchery

The Kootenay Trout Hatchery went into production in 1966 and is responsible for stocking 150 lakes in the east and west Kootenay regions. In addition, the hatchery provides fish to the Clearwater and Summerland Trout Hatcheries for stocking interior and northern regions of the province.

Species Raised

The facility plays a key role in the white sturgeon recovery initiatives for the upper Columbia River population. The Kootenay hatchery was expanded for the sturgeon initiatives and currently has facilities to accommodate adult holding, spawning, and juvenile rearing. To learn more about the Columbia sturgeon program, visit our White Sturgeon Conservation page.

The Kootenay and Clearwater Trout Hatcheries are the only two facilities that stock kokanee salmon in B.C.


The Visitor Centre has an extensive interpretative area which includes aquariums, educational models, and displays. Guided Tours are available from May through August. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Our outside area includes a nature trail and children's fishing pond. Depending on the availability of tour guides, fishing equipment may be available for loan by donation. We encourage you to bring your own equipment for your children. Please use single barbless hooks, as this is a catch and release pond. Bait or worms are acceptable.

The facility is largely accessible by wheelchair, and tour bus parking is available.


Sign up for Learn to Fish, book a fishing birthday party or register for an educational field trip, at our indoor/ outdoor facility. Call or email the Visitor Centre for more information or to book a program.

T: 250.429.3214
E: visit.kootenay@gofishbc.com

School Programs - Field Trips

A vist to the Kootenay Trout Hatchery is a one-of-a-kind learning experience for students and teachers alike. Whichever program you chose, our interpreters will tailor your visit to your group’s age and interests. Learn more about our field trip programs.

Learn to Fish

Learn where, when and how to catch fish at the Kootenay Trout Hatchery pond. Our facility offers the Learn to Fish program for children 7 days a week throughout the summer, but participants must book in advance. For more information about our Learn to Fish program.
  • On-site programs are 2 - 4 hours long
  • Available to children, although we welcome and strongly encourage parent participation throughout the lesson.
  • Learn about: fish identification and biology, habitats and conservation, knot-tying, casting and retrieving, proper fish handling and ethics, safety and fishing regulations
  • All equipment and tackle is provided

Fishing Birthday Parties

For a birthday party that really takes the cake, come fishing! Our parties include a guided tour of the hatchery, interactive activities and games, a take home craft for each child, hands-on fishing instruction at our stocked ponds, all the tackle you’ll need, and much more.
  • $70 for first 6 children, $5 for each additional child
  • 4 hours (typically 10am – 2pm, but times may be flexible)
  • Available weekends during May and June, 7 days per week during July and August
  • Please provide your own food, cake and candles

Location Details

The hatchery is located approximately 35 minutes Southeast of Cranbrook.  From Cranbrook take Highway 3 (Crowsnest) East towards Wardner.  After crossing the bridge take the first left onto Wardner Fort Steele Road.  Follow Wardner Fort Steele Road North for approximately 6 kilometres.  The hatchery will be on your left-hand side.

View FFSBC Fish Rearing Facilities in a larger map

Hours of Operation

Visitor Centre Drop-in: Daily, 8:00am - 4:00pm (Mountain Time)
Visitor Centre Tours: May through August, 9:30am - 3:30pm (Mountain Time)

Hatchery: Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 3:30pm (Mountain Time)

Contact Information

T: 250.429.3214
E: kootenay@gofishbc.com

Mailing Address

4522 Fenwick Road, Fort Steele, B.C., V0B 1N0