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Kootenay Trout Hatchery | Fort Steele, British Columbia

Museum, Theatre, Interpretive Centre, Nature or Wildlife Centre
Large trout swim in the moat outside and there are extensive interpretive displays inside. – Kootenay Trout Hatchery

The Kootenay Trout Hatchery rears approximately 2 million trout, kokanee salmon, char and white sturgeon annually and also provides research facilities for fisheries biologists. Lakes throughout British Columbia are stocked with these rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout to enhance recreational fishing opportunities. In addition, white sturgeon are reared as part of conservation programs for the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers.

Trophy-sized trout swim in the outside moat and kids are allowed to feed the fish. You'll get an up-close view of the trout and prehistoric white sturgeon in the aquaria. Western painted turtles mill-about in the turtle pond. Kootenay Trout Hatchery is located in a beautiful natural setting near the confluence of the Bull River into the Kootenay River. The spectacular ‘Steeples’ Mountain range forms a dramatic backdrop and the surrounding forests and meadows provide range land and habitat for healthy numbers of diverse wildlife species populations. Commonly seen in the area are mountain sheep, elk, white-tail and mule deer, osprey, bald eagles, hawks and blue heron, as well as the less frequently spotted otter, beaver, coyote and bear, to name a few.

An extensive interpretive area with aquaria, educational models and interactive displays are available for free self-guided tours every day between 8-4 pm. Guided tours are offered during the summer months. Fun and informative programs are offered such as Learn to Fish Programs in the brand new Children's Fishing Pond and summer special event days for children and families hosted by knowledgeable interpreters.

Driving Directions

Thirty-two kilometres (20 mi) southeast of Cranbrook on Highway #3; 6 km (3.5 mi) north on Wardner/Fort Steele Road.


Open 8-4 pm daily; tours available spring/summer 10:15 am to 3:30 pm.

Open Seasons and Months