COVID-19 response: The Discovery Centre and Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery have reopened to the public with enhanced safety measures in place.

Fish Hatchery

Staying Safe Together

Your safety is our priority. Learn about how the Fish Hatchery is taking action to keep you safe on our COVID-19 response page.

Public Access Details

As a working environment, participants must:

  • Wash their hands prior to entering;
  • Wear clean (no mud) closed-toe shoes; and
  • Walk across a disinfectant mat.

Persons with severe fish allergies should not enter the hatchery environment.

What to Expect:

  • Leave strollers at home. Strollers are not permitted inside the hatchery.
  • Following one-way flow and signs, you and your cohort group will be led to the largest ponds in the hatchery.
  • Each visitor will be given one serving of fish food. (Note: containers are disinfected after each use).
  • Cohort groups will have a specific area around the pond to feed the fish.
  • Closed-in shoes recommended.

Public Activities

Take a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to raise over a million trout each year - from egg to fry - during a guided tour or fish feeding activity!

Back in Business: 5 Things to Know About the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery Renovations

After being closed to the public since October 2017 due to upgrades to its water treatment systems, the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery is o-FISH-ally open to the public for tours again!

Here are five things to know about the recent work at the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery:

One of the new UV sterilization systems in the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery.

1. Why did the renovations happen?

  • Age
    The Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery was built over 40 years ago, in 1973. With issues related to aging infrastructure and equipment, it was time for some much needed upgrades and modernization.

  • Environmental Perks
    The new system decreases water use significantly – recirculation has improved from 70% to 95%.

  • Fish Health
    Upgrades to equipment has led to improved prevention in the infiltration of potential diseases into the hatchery. The upgraded Ultra Violet (UV) lights will effectively kill a number of diseases that can impact fish health – including whirling disease.

2. Why does everything look the same when I walk through the Fish Hatchery?

There are a few new pipes here and there, but - for the most part - things will look the same in the Fish Hatchery for visitors. The major changes happened behind the scenes, in the basement of the Fish Hatchery where all the equipment is housed.

3. Why did the renovations take so long?

Modernizing an old building like this takes time. A few unique projects needed to happen - like cutting new holes in the walls or floors to remove some of the very large equipment to make room for the new equipment.

The new system incorporates automatic water monitoring in all burrows ponds, increasing fish health monitoring.

4. What’s the coolest part about the new system?

Depends on who you ask! Here are a few highlights:

  • Improved water quality for the fish, thanks to state-of-the-art filtration and disinfection equipment.
  • Decreased costs related to both energy consumption and future repairs.
  • Improved monitoring of water quality and faster response time to potential issues due to automated and programmable systems.
  • Improved fish health with the ability to customize water quality for each of the 21 individual burrows ponds.
Fish feedings take place Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.

5. Can I come feed the fish again?

Yes you can! Bow Habitat Station is now offering public activities in the Fish Hatchery on Fridays and Saturdays. Please visit the Public Activities page for more details.

Dive Deeper

Since opening in 1973, over 50 million trout have been raised at the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery. Trout are raised from egg to fry and stocked into over 200 different lakes across the province as a part of Alberta's fish stocking program.

The Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery is one of four provincially-operated fish culture facilities, and is a key element in Alberta’s Fish Stocking Program.


Updated: Sep 10, 2020