Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium
Mountain-Prairie Region
Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery: (Photos clockwise from left) Aerial view of hatchery grounds, Gavins Point entrance sign, Juvenile pallid sturgeon


About Us

Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery (NFH) and Aquarium is located near Yankton, South Dakota. The hatchery is strategically located on the Missouri River near Lewis & Clark Lake and Lake Yankton. Gavins Point NFH is one of 65 Federal Hatcheries and Fish Technology Centers operated nationwide by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The hatchery is open to the public and provides nature hikes and hatchery tours and houses an aquarium for visitors to observe fish. Some areas such as the Endangered Species and Sturgeon buildings are off limits to the public except through guided tours. Visitors are able to walk out to the ponds, but unauthorized vehicles are not allowed around the ponds. Guided tours of the facilities may be arranged for groups by contacting the hatchery.


The hatchery's primary responsibilities include:

  1. Raising threatened and endangered fish species
  2. Performing fish culture activities of other native and nonnative species
  3. Maintaining operation of the aquarium for public use and public outreach activities
  4. Management of Lake Yankton fish populations

Youth Conservation Corps Program

Youth Conservation Corps student helps with sturgeon spawningGavins Point NFH resurrected the Youth Conservation Corps program in 2011 by hiring two high school students from Yankton High School. The two students gained experience in fish husbandry and had an opportunity to participate in all activities at Gavins Point NFH. The eight-week program is designed to provide high school aged-youth with exposure to natural resource management as a career option. The program will continue in 2012, and hire several students from the local area.