archives at D.C. Booth

The museum collection includes fish management and culture items and equipment, periodicals, publications and personal artifacts. The collection contains over 1.8 million items and is the largest collection of fisheries artifacts in the country, some of which are on display in the museum. The museum is open daily during the summer season.

The collection management facility is open ONLY by appointment.

spearfish, sd


More about the archives

Snippets from our Archives here at D.C. Booth Museum & Archives.

1960’s film about Mescalero National Fish Hatchery in New Mexico

Our Archives houses many thousands of photos and some film reels. Here is a snippet from a 1960’s film about Mescalero National Fish Hatchery in New Mexico. In the 7 minute video, the staff show two young boys all around the Hatchery.

Cover Page for the 1941 Genoa National Fish Hatchery Annual Report

Here is the cover page for the 1941 Genoa National Fish Hatchery annual report. The last paragraph talks about shipping fish via fish rail cars which were still in use at the time! The report is housed in the National Fish & Aquatic Conservation Archives on the D.C. Booth hatchery.
Today the Genoa facility, located in Genoa, Wisconsin, is a conservation hatchery concerned with the recovery of endangered aquatic species.

The Monument Ponds

Continuing with posts for #ArchivesMonth: Fish or debate? Spencer Baird, the first commissioner of the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries (the predecessor of today’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), kept the attention and support of Congress by staying—literally—in its line of sight. Starting in 1879, fish ponds were built between where the Washington Monument was going up and the Potomac River.
In this 1880s photo, a driver brings containers in a horse-drawn wagon to the National Carp Ponds on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Buildings belonging to the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries can be seen in the background, as well as the partially built Washington Monument. The Monument Ponds were used to raise shad, bass, crappie and even carp, which were in vogue at that time. Baird was responsible for reporting to Congress each year and securing a budget for the young conservation agency—the first of its kind.
Members of Congress took notice, one writing, “In these early spring days one would rather sit on the grass in the sunshine than to breathe the breath of the galleries and listen to Congressional debate… now and then there is the flash of a fin, and a shy carp swims away from you.” Carp, a popular fish to eat in Europe and imported from Germany, never appealed to the taste buds of Americans, and years later would be found to cause problems. The Monument Ponds didn’t last. Silt from the Potomac was put in the ponds, and by 1912 they were filled up.
Photo from the National Fish & Aquatic Conservation Archives housed on the D.C. Booth Historic NFH grounds.

El Camino Stocking

a personal favorite of the current curator/archivist – a 1964 photo of stocking fish via an El Camino! These fish were traveling in style! The photo was taken at the Senecaville National Fish Hatchery in Ohio (now a state fish hatchery).