About the Kootenay Trout Hatchery Visitor Centre
Visitors are welcome to enjoy a self-guided tour of our extensive interpretative area which includes aquariums, educational models, and displays. Guided tours are available from May through August. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Come visit the Visitor Centre to discover (or rediscover) the joys of:
- Picnicking in the shade of the Rockies while taking in the sights of the beautiful surroundings and abundant wildlife.
- Taking a nature walk with a tour guide to learn more about indigenous plants, birds and animals of the region.
- Letting the kids feed the trophy sized trout in the outside moat.
- Getting an up-close-and-personal view of the trout and prehistoric white sturgeon in the aquaria.
- Having a look at the western painted turtles in the turtle pond.
- Getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the hatchery.
- Helping your kids to catch a fish in our Children's Fishing Pond!
Note: the facility is largely accessible by wheelchair, and tour bus parking is available.
Our Kootenay Children's Fishing Pond and Nature Trail is available for kids to try their luck at fishing. Depending on the availability of our tour guides, fishing equipment may be available for loan by donation. We encourage you to bring your own equipment with your kids. This is a CATCH and RELEASE pond, using single barbless hooks. Bait or worms are acceptable.
The Visitor Centre is located within the Kootenay Trout Hatchery 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.
Hours of Operation
Visitor Centre Drop-In Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm Daily (Mountain Time)
Tours Available: Spring/Summer 9:30am - 3:30pm (Mountain Time)
Telephone: (250) 429-3214
Facsimile: (250) 429-3202
4522 Fenwick Road, Fort Steele, B.C., V0B 1N0
Programs and Events
Learn to Fish
The Learn to Fish program includes instruction relating to:
- Fish ID & basic biology
- Rods, reels & lines
- Tackle & accessories
- Knots & equipment set up
- Casting and retrieving
- Proper fish handling
- Freshwater fishing regulations & information sources
- Where, when and how to catch fish!
The program concludes with hands on experience fishing at our scenic pond. The hatchery supplies students with their own rods, bait, lures, nets, and all other necessary equipment. We welcome and strongly encourage parent participation throughout the lesson. Please ensure that all participants are dressed for the weather of the day and that they bring enough food and drink. This program can be anywhere from 2-4 hours long and must be booked in advance.
We offer the Learn to Fish program 7 days a week throughout the summer.
School Programs - Field trips for classes
A variety of educational programs are available for school and other groups by donation. For more information please click here to read our Learn to Fish School Flyer.