Thursday, January 7, 2016

McNenny Fish Hatchery - Past, Present & Future

Mike Barnes, Hatchery Manager
On Dec 1, 2015, Mike Barnes, Hatchery Manager of the McNenny State Fish Hatchery, told the story of the hatchery located northwest of Spearfish to the Spearfish Area Historical Society.

McNenny State Fish Hatchery, owned and operated by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, provides trout and salmon for stocking in the Black Hills, Missouri River Reservoirs, and Eastern South Dakota lakes and streams. High fishing pressure, low natural reproduction, and limited food supplies create the need for stocking. Fish raised at McNenny provide fishing opportunities to anglers of all ages.

Approximately 3.5 million gallons of water flow through the hatchery each day. After flowing through the rearing units, the water passes through two settling ponds before eventually flowing into Crow Creek. The hatchery uses this water to produce around 60,000 pounds of trout and salmon each year (give or take a pound or two).The goal of McNenny State Fish Hatchery is to maximize angler satisfaction. To accomplish this goal McNenny emphasizes fish quality and post-stocking survival. 

1949 McNenny Artesian Well
The hatchery's water comes from three artesian wells that were put in place in 1949.  These wells provide consistent ideal temperature water for fish to hatch and grow. 

But much more happens at McNenny than just rearing fish. McNenny strives to be a leader in hatchery-based scientific research and controlled experimentation. The four permanent staff, interns, and volunteers continually innovate by creating or improving the hatchery infrastructure, equipment, and operating procedures. Research and innovation at McNenny not only improves how fish are raised on site, but also advances aquaculture and fisheries management worldwide.
The McNenny Fish Hatchery Display Pond is a 121 foot deep natural sinkhole.