Our history

Set in Australia’s iconic Snowy Mountains region, The Gaden Trout Hatchery has been in operation on the banks of the Thredbo River since the early 1950’s and is one of Australia's main centres for breeding cold water sports fish.

This hatchery supplies over 1 million fry and fingerlings every year to be stocked into public waterways for recreational fishing enhancement. The Gaden Hatchery is operated by the NSW government and supported by the Recreational Fishing Trust.

Four species that are produced here include Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon. Hatchery breeding is essential for these species as natural recruitment cannot sustain fish stock numbers in many waterways. Gaden Trout Hatchery has been a premier local attraction for more than 50 years, with plenty to offer visitors including guided tours, fish feeding and a picnic area.

Jim Gaden, a high-country grazier from Cooma was deeply interested in the conservation of trout in the Snowy Mountains. As a result of his efforts, the Monaro District Acclimatisation Society was formed in 1937. A founding member of this hatchery, his hard work helped secure its future.

In 1948, a site was chosen about 10kms from Jindabyne on the banks of the Thredbo River. Gaden's 12 acres of land were donated by farmer William (Bill) Napthali. This site was deemed suitable for trout production due to an abundance of cold clean water.

With shortages of funds, materials and labour, Gaden Hatchery was built with buildings and facilities from 8 former hatcheries, and much of its construction was provided by volunteers.

In October 1953, Gaden Hatchery was officially opened. Between 1953 and 1959 the Monaro Acclimatisation Society operated the hatchery on a voluntary basis, until it was finally taken over by NSW Fisheries.

Gaden Trout Hatchery