The hatchery was established in 1950 for the purpose of rearing fish for the New England states. A unique feature of the facility is the 235 acre site and it’s capability of producing warm, cool and cold water fish species. North Attleboro NFH originally provided largemouth bass and bluegills for stocking in southern New England. In the mid to late 1950’s the cold water facility was constructed and catchable rainbow, brown and brook trout were provided for stocking in federal and state managed streams, lakes and ponds. The facility also operated as a broodstock station and shipped eyed rainbow and brook trout eggs to many federal and state hatcheries throughout the country. Walleye were produced in cooperation with the state of Massachusetts in early 1980’s and Striped bass fingerlings were provided for the Chesapeake Bay and Kennebec River from mid 1980’s to early 1990’s. Atlantic salmon production began in 1985 and continues today for the Merrimack, Connecticut, Pawcatuck and Saco River Restoration programs. In 1996 the hatchery became involved in the Charles River American shad restoration program.
Currently, the hatchery has four main purposes: recondition sea-run Atlantic salmon adults after spawning (kelts) and provide eggs and fry for restoration programs on the Merrimack, Connecticut, and Pawcatuck Rivers and educational facilities; produce salmon parr and smolts for the Saco River restoration program; produce American shad fry for the Charles and Merrimack River restoration programs; and provide outreach and education.