Unicoi County

Erwin National Fish Hatchery

PROJECT PARTNERS United States Fish & Wildlife Service

TennGreen Land Conservancy purchased nearly twelve acres adjacent to the Erwin National Fish Hatchery for a donation to the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (Service). This land, which is largely forested, contains an artesian spring that is important for the groundwater recharge of the spring that feeds into the hatchery’s operations.

Established in 1897, the Erwin National Fish Hatchery is managed by the Service. It is dedicated to breeding three unique strains of rainbow trout and one strain of brook trout to support fisheries management and ongoing national research. The hatchery is also active in the recovery of multiple imperiled freshwater mussel species. The facility  propagates mussels for introduction into areas where rare species have gone extinct or in places where declining populations need a boost.

This land purchase is vital for protecting the watershed that supplies high-quality water necessary to support hatchery trout and freshwater mussel programs. Utilizing funds set aside for bat and mussel mitigation efforts, TennGreen purchased the land and will donate it to the Service to expand the hatchery.