Little Grassy Fish Hatchery


Little Grassy Fish Hatchery is Illinois' warm-water hatchery.

The main event at Little Grassy is the catfish production. Adult brood fish are paired and placed into spawning cubicles located in concrete outdoor raceways. The fish are provided an appropriate nesting site (milk can). Fertilized eggs are collected from the cans and processed indoors. The eggs are separated, enumerated and hatched in the incubation room.

Newly hatched catfish fry are placed in indoor start troughs for approximately three weeks. During this time, the yolk-sac fry develop fully and begin feeding on powdered food. The production process of the channel catfish provides a great viewing experience for visitors. ‘Prime time” for viewing the production process runs from early to mid-June. Yearling catfish in outdoor raceways are available for feeding by visitors from Memorial Day through July.

Little Grassy is open to the public daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during both production season and non-production season. Walk-in visitors as well as scheduled tour groups are welcome. Scheduled tours can be adjusted to suit time constraints of visitors as well as age group and knowledge base of visitors.

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