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McNenny State Fish Hatchery

McNenny State Fish Hatchery provides trout and salmon for stocking in the Black Hills, Missouri River Reservoirs and Eastern South Dakota lakes and streams. Trout and salmon are not native to South Dakota so with high fishing pressure, low natural reproduction and limited food supplies - it creates the need for stocking these species.

In 1943, Judge James McNenny sold land to the state for public hunting and fishing. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service leased the land for fish hatchery construction in 1946. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service discontinued the hatchery lease in 1983. GFP took over operations and made improvements to the water supply and rearing facilities.

Approximately 3.5 million gallons of water flow through the hatchery each day. That's about 2,500 gallons each minute. After flowing through the fish rearing units, the water passes through two settling ponds. From there, it eventually flows into Crow Creek.

McNenny produces quality fish through the use of novel rearing techniques and innovative research. Fish raised at McNenny are stocked across the state, providing fishing opportunities to anglers of all ages. Hatchery staff conduct research to improve rearing efficiencies, angler satisfaction, and post-stocking survival. Research at McNenny not only improves how fish are raised on site, but also advances fish rearing and management worldwide.

Much more happens at McNenny than just rearing fish. McNenny has a history of scientific research. Controlled experimentation at McNenny is changing the world of aquaculture. Hatchery staff often collaborate with fisheries managers, universities and other agencies (statewide, nationwide and internationally).

Fish rearing units


  • 8 raceways; each divided into three sections
  • 3 earthen spring-fed production ponds
  • 1 natural display pond (121 feet deep!)


  • 28 indoor above ground circular tanks
  • 6 indoor below ground circular tanks
  • Vertical incubation trays
  • Upwelling incubation jars
  • 18 small experimental tanks


  • Open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Open year round.
  • From South Dakota I-90, take Exit 2 near the Wyoming border and follow the signs.
  • Interpretive signs on the hatchery grounds allow for self-guided tours.
  • Tours of the facility are available for large groups, but must be scheduled in advance.
  • McNenny State Fish Hatchery
    19619 Trout Loop
    Spearfish, SD 57783
    Phone: 605.642.6920


Volunteer opportunities abound at McNenny. Local community members, retirees, Boy Scouts and students have all used their talents to improve hatchery operations.

Volunteers are welcome to help with fish rearing, tagging and marking, spawning, stocking, landscaping and educational outreach. Contact the hatchery at the phone number listed above to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Display Pond

An underwater view of the fish in McNenny State Fish Hatchery's display pond.

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.