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. It is one of two
state-owned coldwater hatcheries in South Dakota.
McNenny is open to the public year round.


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. The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks took over operations and made improvements to the water supply and rearing facilities. Fish rearing and research are, and have been, the focus since that time.

what we do

McNenny produces quality fish through the use of novel rearing techniques and innovative research. Staff constantly strive to improve rearing efficiencies. 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.

McNenny staff welcome opportunities to inform the public of the great things happening at the hatchery. In addition to dynamic presentations by hatchery personnel, updated interpretive signs on the hatchery grounds inform visitors of the role of hatcheries, funding, and local geography.

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


McNenny State Fish Hatchery
19619 Trout Loop
Spearfish, SD 57783
Phone: 605.642.6920

visitor hours

Monday - Friday, 8am-4pm
Closed weekends and holidays


From South Dakota I-90, take Exit 2 near the Wyoming border and follow the signs.

View Larger Map


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.

Please contact the hatchery at 605.642.6920 for more information.


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.

Well-informed staff are willing to work with groups outside of the hatchery as well.

For more information please contact the hatchery at 605.642.6920.


Much more happens at McNenny than just rearing fish. Innovation is standard operating procedure!

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, within South Dakota, in the United States, and internationally.

more information

What is the purpose of McNenny hatchery?
McNenny stocks trout and salmon to produce quality recreational fisheries for the benefit of South Dakota anglers and visitors to the state.

Why stock trout and salmon?
Trout and salmon are not native to South Dakota. High fishing pressure, low natural reproduction, and limited food supplies create the need for stocking.

Who decides how many fish go into the streams, lakes and reservoirs?
Fisheries Managers of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks decide stocking needs by using lake surveys and angler interviews.

Where does the hatchery get water?
Three artesian wells and many springs feed the hatchery. The wells are 270 feet deep. Water rises with natural pressure through an aeration tower before flowing into the hatchery. The tower releases nitrogen and adds oxygen to the water. The water is rich in calcium and other minerals, is always 52°F, and not treated in any way.

How much water does the hatchery use?
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.

How are fish transported?
At McNenny, fish are moved using one-ton or two-ton trucks. Each truck has insulated oxygen-infused tanks full of hatchery water.

Is there a site I can visit to find out what has been stocked?
View the prior year Fish Stocking Report here >.

Who pays for state hatcheries?
Do you have a South Dakota fishing license? If so, then you do! The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks Wildlife Division is primarily funded by hunting and fishing licenses and a federal excise tax. The Sport Fish Restoration Act authorizes a 10% federal excise tax on outdoor equipment and motorboat fuel. South Dakota and other states receive grants supported by this tax.

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.