Buffalo Springs Trout Hatchery is located approximately two miles north of the Holston River and about five miles to the west of Cherokee Dam, in Grainger County near Rutledge, Tennessee.
The facility was constructed between 1970 and 1976 (the building was completed in 1970 and the raceways in 1976) and has subsequently served as an intensive trout production facility for the state. Buffalo Springs is Region IV’s newest, and only “true” trout hatchery (other facilities are actually trout rearing stations). It is adjacent to the Buffalo Springs Wildlife Management Area and is situated on a 20-acre site of which 10 acres have been developed. The facility consists of an artesian spring water supply (Buffalo Spring), 24 outdoor concrete raceways, a hatchery building with 23 concrete raceways and three vertical flow through tray incubators, a service building for vehicle and bagged fish feed storage, and a manager’s residence.
The mailing address for the facility is:
Buffalo Springs Trout Hatchery
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
275 Hatchery Lane
Rutledge, TN 37861
Telephone: (865) 828-5263
Four full-time employees operate the facility:
Duane Oyer, Hatchery Manager
Tim Williams, Tech. II
Greg McGinnis, Tech. II
Dillon Norris, Tech. I
Floyd Collins, Tech. I
In 2013, 433,956 rainbow trout weighing 87,463 pounds were reared and stocked from Buffalo Springs Hatchery. Buffalo Springs typically supplies trout for three reservoirs (Chilhowee, South Holston, and Watauga), four tailwaters (Norris, Cherokee, Wilbur, and South Holston), and about 15 east Tennessee streams. Almost all of the fish raised at Buffalo Springs during a typical year are rainbow trout.