State Fish Hatcheries
The system of fish hatcheries steps in to give anglers a boost. South Dakota has quality fishing in many lakes and water bodies; some of which could not sustain a game fish population without help.
Visit one of the hatcheries, online or in person, to see how we partner with nature and compliment natural fish production.
Blue Dog State Fish Hatchery is located near Waubay in Day County. It is the state's only warm-water fish hatchery; producing walleye and other popular sport fish.
Cleghorn Springs State Fish Hatchery stands near the site where trout were first introduced into the Black Hills in 1886.
McNenny State Fish Hatchery was transferred from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to GFP in 1983. It is an important part of fish management in the Black Hills, and also supports the salmon stocking program for Lake Oahe.
Whitlock Bay Salmon Spawning Station is located near Gettysburg and welcomes salmon back each fall on Lake Oahe. Salmon do not naturally reproduce in the lake and the population depends entirely on the work of GFP biologists.
Hatcheries and Fisheries Management
Management of hatcheries and fisheries across the state provides suitable quantities and qualities of fish for South Dakota's fishering resources. Fish stocking is highly visible and the most commonly thought of aspect of fisheries management, however, stocking is just one tool used by fisheries managers.
Protecting and enhancing the integrity of South Dakota's marsh, stream and lake systems is important because without quality habitat we cannot have quality fishing.
Surveying the fish communities and analyzing their capabilities and problems are the basis for creating GFP's fish management plan. Stocking is often prescribed to correct fish population problems caused by environmental defects or catastrophes and physical conditions that can't be immediately solved by habitat improvement.