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. Established in 1896, D.C. Booth is one of the oldest operating hatcheries in the country dedicated to fish culture and resource management. After a brief cease of operations in the mid-80’s, the hatchery reopened with a new mission to help preserve the historic and cultural heritage of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Today, visitors to the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery are welcome to stroll the grounds for free, 365 days a year.
The 10 acre site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and consists of raceways, fish ponds, underwater viewing area, the Von Bayer Museum, Railcar, Booth House, and the Pond Gift Shop. There are even two hiking trails that outline the boundaries of the hatchery site. Guests are free to roam the site on their own, or guided tours are available during the summer months. While the grounds and underwater viewing area are open 365 days a year, the gift shop, museum, Railcar, and Booth House are only open in summer between mid-May and the end of September.
Between 20,000 and 30,000 rainbow trout are stocked out of D.C. Booth every year by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, & Parks. Visitors can view the lifespan of the trout from the juveniles in the raceway, to the adults in the ponds via the underwater viewing area.
Visitors are welcome to feed the fish year round. Fish food can be purchased at the gift shop or at one of the many dispensers around the ponds.
The Von Bayer Museum of Fish Culture
Created to preserve the the vibrant history and heritage of the American fisheries workers, the Von Bayer Museum of Fish Culture houses historic objects from hatcheries throughout the country. The artifacts collected but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are displayed along with interpretation of the history and technology of fish culture and are made accessible to researchers and the public. This is done to increase awareness of the various roles and the value of fish culture and fisheries in everyday life.
Check out the video below for more information on the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery or go to www.dcboothfishhatchery.org