Nimbus Fish Hatchery

Notice: Due to extreme heat, the Nimbus Fish Hatchery Visitor Center will close at 1:00 p.m. every day until further notice.

Located in eastern Sacramento County, Nimbus Hatchery raises Chinook salmon and steelhead for release to the American River. The Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center offers free fun and educational activities for children and adults of all ages. Enjoy the on-site nature trail along the American River to view wildlife, as well as the American River Parkway trail directly adjacent to the Nimbus Hatchery.

The salmon run occurs in fall, with hatchery operations taking place from the beginning of November through mid-December. The steelhead trout run occurs in winter, with hatchery operations taking place from January through February. 


Cost: Free

Location: 2001 Nimbus Road, Suite F, Gold River, CA 95670


  • Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • The raceways (little fish ponds) close approximately 2:00 p.m. daily
  • The hatchery parking lot located at 2001 Nimbus Rd is open 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. daily.
  • Hours are subject to change based on staff availability or inclement weather. Please check our Facebook Page(opens in new tab) for the most current updates.

Contact: (916) 358-2884, Molly Shea

Directions: Off Highway 50, 18 miles east of Sacramento. Travel north on Hazel Ave. 0.7 mile, make a left hand turn at Gold Country Blvd. Travel 200 yards to the parking lot entrance on the right. MAP(opens in new tab)

See bottom of page for information about the visitor center's guided tour program.

More about this Facility

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At a Glance

  • FREE, including parking
  • For K-12 school groups and community-based organizations (scout groups, professional and non-profit organizations, nursing care centers, etc.)
  • 1.5 hour in-person guided tours for grades K-12 and community groups with more than 15 participants
  • NGSS-aligned for K-12 groups, covering salmon life cycle, water systems, river habitat, and human impact on the environment

Booking Tours

Beginning in August 2024, all guided tours will be booked through a new calendar reservation system. Due to the increased demand for guided tours during our peak season (November-February), this new system will have staggered opening dates*:

  1. August 26, 2024 – Title I schools
  2. September 3, 2024 Non-Title I public schools
  3. September 9, 2024 – Charter schools, homeschools, and community groups

*Do NOT book tours earlier than the date your group falls under. If you book a tour before your group qualifies, your tour will be cancelled.

A reservation system tutorial video and guided instructions will be posted in July so you may prepare for this new system. 

For questions, or to schedule tours for July 2024 or a virtual tour of the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, please call (916) 358-2884, or email Do not call Nimbus Fish Hatchery directly.

Educational Resources

Preparing for Your Field Trip

Hatchery-related Learning

Other CDFW Programs

Fisheries Branch
1010 Riverside Parkway, West Sacramento, CA 95605 |