423 Hatchery Circle
Spearfish, SD 57783
The D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery was constructed to propagate, stock, and establish trout populations in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. After a very successful fish production history, the Hatchery ceased operations in the mid-80’s and reopened with a new mission and partnerships to help preserve the U.S. Wildlife Service’s historic and cultural heritage. The Hatchery is named after its first Superintendent.
Admission to the Hatchery grounds is always free. Visitors are welcome to stroll the hatchery grounds from dawn to dusk any day of the week,365 days a year. However, the Pond Gift Shop, the Von Bayer Museum, the Railcar, and the Booth House are open during the summer season–from mid-May through the end of September. Guided tours through the historicbuildings are available through September 28th from 9:00am to 5pm.
Please note: Because the Hatchery’s attractions operate with the help of local and traveling volunteers, hours may vary or be shortened without notice.
The Hatchery is located at South Canyon Street and Spearfish Creek between the Spearfish city park and city campground.
The Von Bayer Museum of Fish Culture was created to preserve the vibrant history and rich heritage of the American fisheries workers. The US Fish and Wildlife Service collects and preserves the historic objects from hatcheries throughout the country making them accessible to researchers and the public.
The Booth House
The Neo-Colonial Revival Booth House, built for the first superintendent in 1905, is open for tours to visitors who would like to learn about the history of the house and the families that lived and worked at the hatchery.
Before the invention of refrigerated tanker trucks, fish hatcheries were faced with the problem of how to quickly move fish from hatcheries to lakes and rivers around the country.
The Yellowstone Boat
U.S. Fisheries Boat #39, a wooden Great Lakes-style cabin cruiser, tells the story of early hatchery workers who went on expeditions to Yellowstone National Park to collect trout eggs. In 1901, the Spearfish National Fish Hatchery began to operate an egg-gathering substation in Yellowstone National Park.
Spanning 10 acres, the entire hatchery site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ponds, rock walls, water systems and buildings contribute to the site’s historic significance. Although many alterations have been made on the site over the years, each change tells a story about hatchery operations.
Between 20,000-30,000 rainbow trout are stocked out of D.C. Booth each year by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks into nearby lakes and streams for anglers to enjoy. Visitors can get up close and personal with brown and rainbow trout by feeding them from above or watching them through the underwater viewing windows.
Decorated as a winter wonderland, the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery provides the ambiance of Christmas traditions. During the holiday celebration, luminaries and lights line walkways throughout the hatchery at the opening Friday night of the event. The holiday celebration is held the first weekend in December.