Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium
Mountain-Prairie Region
Gavins Point Species: (Photos clockwise from left) Rainbow trout school, Largemouth bass, Walleye

Gavins Point Fish Species

Gavins Point NFH is considered a combination hatchery because the fish raised here are considered cold, cool or warm water fish. Listed below are three different fish species raised at our hatchery that are examples of fishes from each temperature category.


Cool Water Fish - Walleye

WalleyeThe walleye is a cool water fish that can tolerate higher water temperatures and lower oxygen contents than the rainbow trout. Adult broodstock are captured in area lakes during early spring, and milt and eggs are taken from the males and females. The adult walleye are unharmed and returned to the wild. The fertilized eggs are taken to Gavins Point NFH and hatched in jars. Over 30 million eggs are taken in a year, with approximately 20 million eggs hatching annually. Eggs and young fry are shipped to various places in the United States. About one million fry are stocked into culture ponds at Gavins Point and raised to fingerling size. The fry are later released into various lakes and reservoirs in South Dakota.


Cold Water Fish - Rainbow trout

Rainbow TroutThe rainbow trout is a cold water fish and requires water temperatures below 70 degrees F with a high oxygen content. Trout at Gavins Point are raised on flowing well water that has an average water temperature of 55 degrees F.  Trout eggs are received in July and December, with most fish being raised for stocking and forage use.  Trout that are stocked into suitable lakes are usually raised to 8 inches and stocked in October.  The remaining trout are used to feed the pallid sturgeon, an endangered species.


Warm Water Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth BassThe largemouth bass is an example of a warm water fish that thrives in temperatures above 70 degrees F. Here at Gavins Point NFH, we keep adult broodstock largemouth bass in culture ponds at all times. In the spring, the broodstock largemouth bass build nests, and the male protects the eggs and young fry. The pond is harvested later that spring, and the adults are separated from the fry in put into another pond.  The fry are stocked or released into reservoirs and lakes in Nebraska and South Dakota.


Gavins Point NFH also stocks warm water fish such as black crappie, bluegill and perch into culture ponds to spawn naturally.  Adults and fry are later separated and the fry are stocked back into culture ponds for additional growth, or stocked into lakes and reservoirs.


Black crappieBluegillYellow perch