At the time when the Black Hills region was thrust into the national spotlight for the discovery of gold, it was also found that the abundance of wildlife played an equal role in the vitality of the region.
First founded in 1896 as the Spearfish National Fish Hatchery, today the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives is recognized as one of the oldest fish hatcheries in the United States. Focusing on the importance of managing a valuable Black Hills resource, the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery was responsible for establishing and stocking trout populations throughout the Black Hills of South Dakota and western Wyoming, and has since become a cornerstone of Black Hills history.
The hatchery ended its operations in the mid-1980s, but soon after, partnered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reemerge with a new mission in preserving the area's historic and cultural heritage.
Today, visitors can explore the grounds from dawn to dusk for free on any day, 365 days a year. Visitors are also able to experience the interiors of long-standing structures that make up the Pond Gift Shop, Von Bayer Museum, Railcar, and Booth House during the summer season (mid-May through the end of September). Guided tours are also available during the summer on a per request basis.
Tours and visitor operations are provided by knowledgeable volunteers.