CCA Marine Development Center

The CCA Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi is the first state-operated hatchery and visitor center, and is one of the best kept secrets in Texas. The hatchery produces juvenile (30 millimeter) red drum and spotted seatrout for releasing into Texas bays for stock enhancement. To find out more about hatchery operations and visit the facility for a tour.

Education Programs

red drum fry

The tour starts at the Visitor's Center in the Ben F. Vaughan Building. In this building, eight saltwater aquariums depicting different habitats along the Texas coast are available for viewing. A tour guide provides information on the history of the hatchery and current aquaculture techniques used to rear red drum and spotted seatrout. From the visitor's center tours follow the progression of culture activities that start in the three-thousand-gallon saltwater spawning tanks. The massive broodfish (adult fish) are induced to spawn eggs by controlling the temperature of the water and the lighting above the tanks. Next, the tour moves through the incubator room for viewing of the fish eggs and larvae, and concludes at the outdoor rearing ponds.

juvenile red drum in a handThe partnership that makes it work

Three conservation-minded groups helped by the Sport Fish Restoration Act joined forces to form a unique public-private partnership to make this hatchery a reality. The Gulf Coast Conservation Association (new designation Coastal Conservation Association, CCA), Central Power and Light Company (new designation American Electric Power), and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department committed to enhance red drum and spotted seatrout populations in Texas coastal waters.

dip net holding juvenile red drum being 
harvest from pond


Even Mother Nature needs a helping hand

In the 1970's, red drum populations had reached an all-time low. Recognizing this decline, the partnership opened the hatchery in 1982, and the first stocking of red drum into Texas bays occurred in the spring of 1983. juvenile red drum Today, red drum and spotted seatrout populations are stable in response to TPWD's coastal management plan. Fulfilling its mission, the CCA Marine Development Center continues to produce quality sport-fish species for stocking Texas bays to manage effects on recruitment from habitat degradation causing environmental changes, natural catastrophe's and fishing pressure on the species.


The CCA Marine Development Center is located at 4300 Waldron Road in Corpus Christi, Texas. To reach the hatchery, take SH 358 (South Padre Island Drive) off I37 and proceed south to the end of the island. Take a right on Waldron Road and drive about 4 miles to the Barney Davis Power Plant Station.


Tours are by appointment only M-F at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tours of the hatchery last approximately one hour. Please call (361) 939-7784 or email for more details.