Build a Fish Hatchery in Skyrim so you can have more food to cook during your travels without having to hunt or fish.

Skyrim: How to Craft a Fish Hatchery

Build a Fish Hatchery in Skyrim so you can have more food to cook during your travels without having to hunt or fish.

Knowing how to craft a Fish Hatchery in Skyrim can be an efficient way to breed fish and other creatures for food in both the regular game and survival mode. These items can restore your health and stamina or provide other useful effects.

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How to Craft a Fish Hatchery in Skyrim

This Skyrim Fish Hatchery guide tells you everything you need to know about breeding fish and other aquatic creatures so you don’t have to fish as much as you might otherwise. It will also cover how to gain access to Windstad Manor.

To craft a Fish Hatchery in Skyrim, you must meet a few criteria first: 

  • Buy Windstad Manor
  • Build the basic Manor House
  • Build the Fish Hatchery
  • Fill the Hatchery

How to Buy Windstad Manor

Before you can build the Fish Hatchery in Skyrim, you’ll need to gain access to Windstad Manor. And before you can do that, you’ll need to complete the Laid to Rest quest in Morthal.

Once you’ve completed that questline, Jarl Igdrod Ravencrone will be delighted with the help you’ve provided. You’re one step closer to the Fish Hatchery, but there’s more to do. Her steward, Aslfur, will allow you to purchase Windstad Manor for 5,000 gold.

How to Build a Basic Manor House

Windstad Manor is further north of Morthal, past Movarth’s Lair and Ustengrav. As with other houses added by the Hearthfire DLC, you’ll first need to construct the following:

  • Small House Template
  • House Floor
  • House Walls
  • House Door
  • House Roof

There are stones, clay, and logs near the location, and there’s even a blacksmith’s forge ready so you can craft the other materials that you need. Building the house isn’t too difficult, and following the template it easy enough, but I suggest starting with the floor to lay out the foundation, then moving to the walls, the roof, and the door last.

How to Build the Fish Hatchery

Once you’ve built up the manor, you can craft the Fish Hatchery. It requires the following materials:

  • 3x Quarried Stone
  • 3x Sawn Log
  • 4x Nails

You’ll then find it at the edge of Windstad Manor along the lakeshore.

How to Breed Fish in Skyrim

After you build the Fish Hatchery, you can add several types of fish and other aquatic creatures to it for breeding. After a few days have passed, you’ll notice that more of them have bred. This is a great way for you to farm food that’s useful in Survival Mode.

The Complete Skyrim Fish Hatchery Breeding List

Here are some of the aquatic creatures and fish that you can add to your Fish Hatchery. You only need one of each for breeding:

  • Abacean Longfin
  • Angelfish
  • Angler
  • Arctic Char
  • Arctic Grayling
  • Brook Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Cyrodillic Spadetail
  • Direfish
  • Glass Catfish
  • Goldfish
  • Histcarp
  • Lyretail Anthias
  • Pearlfish
  • Pogfish
  • Pygmy Sunfish
  • River Betty
  • Scorpion Fish
  • Silverside Perch
  • Spadefish
  • Tripod Spiderfish
  • Vampire Fish

Other fish or underwater creatures can be added, as well, though they require different items to breed in the fishery.

  • Slaughter Fish: Slaughter Fish Eggs
  • Clam: Clam Meat
  • Salmon: Salmon Roe

You can catch some of these at the fishing locations spread across Skyrim, then bring them to your Fish Hatchery. If you still need to find the fishing rod and want to know how to fish, we’ve got you covered here.

Fishery Not Working Fix

Even with all the fish and clams in your hatchery, you may come back to it totally empty. Missing fish or the Fish Hatchery not working properly is a bug related to the harvesting code. While patches have been implemented, sometimes you can still run into these issues. Thankfully, there are a few potential fixes. 

  • Don’t fast travel to Windstad Manor: Sometimes fast traveling directly there can “erase” all the fish. Fast travel to the Hjaalmarch Stormcloak Camp, then travel down to your home instead.
  • Head into your house, then back out: This can reset the hatchery.
  • Fast travel to a city: If you’ve gone to your hatchery and there’s no fish, or only a couple fish, travel to a city and wait 48 in-game hours. After, fast travel back to reset your fish spawn.

Now that you know how to craft a Fish Hatchery in Skyrim, you’ll never be without food in or out of survival mode. For more tips, tricks, build guides, and quest walkthroughs, head over to our Skyrim guides hub.

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Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez is a game reviewer and guides writer from the Philippines. With around 5,000 published articles, he's freelanced for numerous outlets, including GameSkinny, GameSpot, Polygon, IGN, PCGamesN, PC Invasion, and more.
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Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.