D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives
Constructed in 1899 as the region's first fish management center, the DC Booth Historic Fish Hatchery was introduced trout to the Black Hills and also controlled the fish population in Yellowstone National Park. The D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives eventually became the coordination center for all federal fish hatcheries in the western United States. However, by the 1980s, budget cuts forced the fish hatchery to be closed. It later reopened with a new mission: to help preserve the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ historic and cultural heritage.
Today, the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives’ colorful history, pristine setting, and century-old buildings are preserved as an educational center devoted to all things fish. Besides the original ponds, hatchery structure and icehouse, the center now includes:
- Underwater viewing areas and fish feeding
- Festivals like DC Booth Day and the Family Creek Fair
- Victorian Booth House
- Museum and gift shop
- Picnic and playground areas
Grounds are open year-round from dawn to dusk with no admission fee. Tours of the hatchery and Booth House run from mid-May through mid-September. With over 150,000 visitors annually, the dedicated volunteer hosts at the Visitor Center, Museum, Railcar and Historic House bring the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives experience alive with educational tours.
Did you know: 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 at the fish hatchery can get up close and personal with the various kinds of trout feeding them from above or watching them through the underwater viewing windows. Visitors can feed the fish 365 days a year because the grounds are open from dawn to dusk.
The Von Bayer Museum of Fish Culture was created to preserve the vibrant history and rich heritage of the American fisheries workers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collects and preserves the historic objects from hatcheries throughout the country and makes them accessible to researchers and the public. The museum collection includes fish management and culture items and equipment, periodicals, publications and personal artifacts. The collection contains over 185,000 items and is the largest collection of fisheries artifacts in the country, some of which are on display in the museum. The museum is open daily during the summer season.
D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives Fees
Admission to the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives 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, Von Bayer Museum, Railcar, and Booth House are only open during the summer season from mid-May through the end of September.
Guided tours through the historic buildings are available through September from 9am to 5pm, on a rolling as-come, as-needed basis.
Stop by for great interpretive tours from our volunteers!
Educational programs/tours are provided for the public during business hours from 9am-5pm, May-Sept., on an as-come, as-needed basis.