Save Our Hatchery from Closure

The most important thing you can do to help the Hatchery is send a letter of support and/or give a donation. You can make a donation or sign up for a membership with our organization, the Booth Society. Your monetary donation will help with additional advocacy costs for the current fiscal year 2014.


The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is still strongly considering closing D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery in Oct. 2014.  We need YOUR help to keep this educational attraction and cultural treasure OPEN under the continuted operations of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Together, our efforts in the fall of 2013 saved the hatchery for fiscal year 2014.  We now have to continue to advocate to keep the hatchery open beyond Oct. of 2014. We did it once, hopefully we can do it again with your help!

Booth Society, Inc., the nonprofit fisheries friends group who has been spearheading advocacy efforts to keep D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives open, received word from FWS staff that D.C. Booth will not be closing in fiscal year 2014. The Booth Society and all of the citizens who have written letters, made calls and contacted their elected delegates have succeeded in winning more time to advocate for D.C. Booth and FWS hatcheries nationwide to remain open.

Local staff were informed by the regional FWS office in Denver that hatcheries in the National Fish Hatchery system will be undergoing further review in Fiscal Year 2014, which runs from Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014.

Read more about the advocacy efforts that saved hatcheries from closure for the current fiscal year:

Fight Will Continue To Save Spearfish Hatchery - USFWS warn closures may happen in Fiscal 2015 ‘given fiscal uncertainty’


This editorial about the hatchery staying open through Oct. 2014 is also worth a read:

Editorial: Hatchery Survival Good News - Rapid City Journal

Other links to news articles:

Spearfish, Booth reps advocate for hatchery in DC

Letter from several Congressional members to the Department of the Interior. This letter is from Senators and Represenatives who represent states that have Mitigation Hatcheries. 

Letter to the editor from former USFWS D.C. Booth Hatchery director Steve Brimm

Letter to the editor from local volunteer, David Nickel


Take Action Now to Help Save the Hatchery!

The most important thing you can do to help the Hatchery is send a letter of support for the Hatchery to your S.D. Congressional delegates, to the USFWS and to Gov. Daugaard.  You can also make a donation or sign up for a membership with our organization, the Booth Society. We are the nonprofit fisheries friends group of the hatchery that has spearheaded the advocacy campaign from the beginning. Your monetary donation will help with additional advocacy costs for the current fiscal year 2014. Click here for more information on donations and memberships.

Ask your co-workers, friends, neighbors, family and associates to send a letter or call their senators and representatives today!

Contact the USFWS, S.D. Congressional Delegation and the SD Governor.

WRITE, VISIT or CALL your representatives. You may also email them through their website. You DO NOT have to be a resident of South Dakota to write to S.D. delegates.  You may also want to write to your state senators and represenatives about this projected closure and the planned closures of other fish hatcheries nationwide, such as Leadville National Fish Hatchery in Colorado (est. 1889) and numerous hatcheries in the southeast.

To expedite your effort to write to SD Congressional Delegates, the SD Governor or the USFWS, we have provided addresses below. 


We've added two new addresses for you to send to US Fish and Wildlife personnel, including Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewel. 

The Honorable Sally Jewell
U.S. Dept. of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

David Hoskins
AD-Fisheries & Aquatic Conservation 
1849C St. NW, Room 3331
Washington, DC 20240-0001

Senator John Thune
1313 West Main Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 348-7551

Senator Tim Johnson
405 E. Omaha St., Suite B.
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 341-3990

Representative Kristi Noem
343 Quincy Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 791-4673

Governor Dennis Daugaard
Office of the Governor
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3212

Dan Ashe, Director USFWS

1849 C ST NW
Room 3331 Washington
District of Columbia  20240-0001
Phone: 202 208-4717

Noreen Walsh, Regional Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

How to address your letter to our State's Congressional Delegation:


-Address letter in following form: The Honorable [Member Name]
                                                     [U.S. House of Representatives or United States Senate]

-Salutation: Dear Senator OR Representative [insert last name]

Usethe following sample text as the basis for your letter. Or write one from scratch. The more you customize, the better. Legislators value original letters more than form letters.

Sincerely/Yours truly/or your favored choice of words,
Your name
*Your address (Address is very important. It enables the legislator to identify you as a real constituent.)

Thank you for your help!

Sign the Petition:

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,S.D. Congressional Delegation: Save Our Hatchery from Closure in Spearfish, SD D.C. BOOTH FISH HATCHERY

Press Release: D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives to Close October 1, 2013

(August 20, 2013—SPEARFISH, S.D.)  D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery (NFH) has been a landmark in Spearfish since 1896. D.C. Booth Historic NFH currently propagates trout for the Black Hills through a cooperative effort with the State of South Dakota; serves as a American fisheries archive to protect and preserve fisheries records and artifacts for educational, research, and historic purposes; provides interpretive and educational programs for the public; and is a cultural treasure located on the National Historic Register.

For numerous years the National Fish Hatchery System, a branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has struggled with declining funding and annual increases in the costs of doing business (utilities, fuel costs, supplies, etc.). The actual impacts are even greater when you take into account the significant budget challenges resulting from across the board cuts mandated by sequestration. 

In addition to these ongoing financial issues, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Directorate in Washington D.C. have emphasized and prioritized other programs over those of the National Fisheries Program.  As a result, the agency has made the decision to permanently shut down multiple fish hatcheries nationwide, including the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery. This closure is expected to be effective October 1, 2013.

The Booth Society, Inc., the citizen-based nonprofit friends group of D.C. Booth NFH, has committed itself to advocating for keeping D.C. Booth Historic NFH open as a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service hatchery, as it is today.

The Booth Society is against wasteful spending and supports a fiscally sound government.  However, the national fisheries program and a facility like D.C. Booth are excellent examples of good government spending.  They provide an economic impact that the public should be proud of.  For example a 2011 economic impact study indicates that:

  • Each taxpayer dollar budgeted for the National Fisheries Program generates $28 in economic returns ($28 : $1).  The revenue generated can be seen at sporting goods stores, marinas, boat dealerships, guides and outfitter services, bait shops, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels.
  • 68,000 American jobs are attributable to the economic contribution of the National Fisheries Program.
  • The National Fisheries Program contributes $3.6 billion in annual contributions to the U.S. economy. That equates to $70 million a week or $10 million a day.  In fact, a company with $3.6 billion in annual profits would rank No. 41 on the Fortune 500 List of America’s Most Profitable Corporations – behind Verizon but in front of Kraft Foods.
  • $903 million in industrial output results from angling for fish originating in National Fish Hatcheries.
  • On the local level, a 2007 economic impact study on D.C. Booth Historic NFH conducted by Black Hills State University revealed:
  • The operations at D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery results in $2.1 million dollars in annual business revenues.
  • An estimated $1 million is spent by nonresident visitors in Spearfish each year who attributed their visit ONLY to the existence of the hatchery.
  • $141,393 in local and state tax and fee revenues are collected indirectly from the visitation at D.C. Booth.
  • Nearly 30 jobs are created locally as a result of the operations at D.C. Booth.
  • Over 14,000 volunteer hours are donated annually to D.C. Booth. This is equivalent to seven full-time employees.

To learn more about the economic impact of the Hatchery on the Spearfish economy, go to

To learn more about the impact of fisheries on the U.S. economy, go to:

Support is pouring in!

Thousands of people stopped by the Hatchery during August and September to sign letters that will be sent to Senators Thune and Johnson, Representative Noem and the USFWS. By the end of October, we had sent over 25,000 letters from our office, that were signed by supporters! People also have called and stopped by to see what they can do to help. Additionally, letters are pouring in from the Eastern part of South Dakota and other states. 

Excerpt from an email sent to more than 200 people by Daniel Brosz, Vice President of The Association of SD Museums and curator of the State Historical Society; and Sonja Johnson, President of the SD Museums Association and Curator of Collections, South Dakota National Guard Museum: 

"The D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery began operations in 1896 to stock the Black Hills with trout. The Booth received a new charge in the mid-1980s to preserve and interpret the history and cultural heritage of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This institution is an important part of South Dakota's history in addition to filling a national mandate preserving USFW history. To date, the Hatchery Archive is home to 175,000 items in the archives - everything from historic fisheries boats and railcars to microchips used for tracking fish.  The beautiful site is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We are in danger of losing this great treasure that over 150,000 people visit every year. That is a lot of people! These visitors contribute to both the local Spearfish and state economy."

This message is through the Booth Society, Inc., the official nonprofit friends group of D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery.  Its content does not reflect the official views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.