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Cleghorn Springs State Fish Hatchery

Trout and salmon are not native to South Dakota. Trout were first introduced into the Black Hills in 1886 at Cleghorn Springs by two Rapid City men. They brought fish from Colorado in cream cans by horse and wagon.

Cleghorn Springs Hatchery has been in operation since 1928. The spring and later the hatchery received their names from the original homestead founded there circa 1889. The first hatchery was comprised of a brick hatchery building at the East End of the site and about 12 miscellaneous rectangular earthen ponds. This facility was renovated to include 29-earth bottom, stone walled ponds and seven earthen ponds. The site was selected for the excellent water source. A spring provides six million gallons of water daily at a year-round temperature of 52 degrees.

Rainbow trout and Chinook salmon are the major species raised. Over two hundred fifty thousand fish, totaling 70,000 pounds, are produced annually. Catchable trout, 11 inches long, are stocked in the small lakes, reservoirs and streams in the Black Hills. Fingerling salmon are stocked in Lake Oahe.

Cleghorn Springs Fish Hatchery



  • Open Monday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Daily tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m

Fall | Winter | Spring

  • The visitor center is closed for the season.
  • Open Monday - Friday from 9:30- a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Visitors may walk around the grounds and feed fish in the outside raceways.
  • Group tours of the facility can be scheduled 2 weeks in advance by calling 605.394.4100.

Cleghorn Springs State Fish Hatchery
4725 Jackson Blvd
Rapid City, SD  57702


















Trout eggs
Eyed rainbow trout eggs that will be 11 inch fish for stocking in South Dakota waters after 12 months of rearing at the hatchery.

Trout fingerlings
Rainbow trout fingerlings in an indoor rearing tank. These trout are held until they reach approximately 7.5cm.(3"), when they are moved outside into the concrete raceways.

Trout brood stock
Rainbow trout brood stock in
outdoor holding tank.

Rainbow TroutThese rainbow trout reach "catchable" size, 28 cm(11"), in about 12 months.




Fish Spawning

Fish spawning and production takes place each spring on selected South Dakota waters. These video highlights the work our biologists do to supplement natural reproduction of walleye and salmon.