U.S. Fisheries Boat #39, a wooden Great Lakes-style cabin cruiser, tells the story of early hatchery workers who went on expeditions to Yellowstone National Park to collect trout eggs. In 1901, the Spearfish National Fish Hatchery began to operate an egg-gathering substation in Yellowstone National Park. Located on the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, the substation was mainly responsible for the collection of black-spotted trout eggs and their subsequent shipment to Spearfish for hatching and later distribution to other areas.
Since direct railroad service did not exist between Spearfish and Yellowstone Lake, an overland expedition was undertaken each year to gather the eggs and return them to Spearfish. The expedition usually left Spearfish in June, traveling by rail as far as possible. The last portion of the journey was made by wagon. The wagons were piled high with boats, nets, troughs, and other equipment. The annual Yellowstone expeditions were conducted from 1901-1911.
The Yellowstone Boat was restored and is now on display at the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery.