Ways to Get Involved

Many local volunteer citizens, civic groups, and school groups are actively involved with the hatchery's operations, education, and outreach. These dedicated partners and volunteers keep the treasured D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery available to you, your family, and future generations.

D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives provides many exciting visitor opportunities, as well as gives back to the local communities. Open to the public, D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives welcomes visitors to the historic hatchery and museum for an educational close-up view of the fish production process.

With over 180,000 visitors annually, the dedicated staff and volunteer hosts at the Visitor Center and Museum bring the hatchery experience alive with educational hatchery and museum tours and exhibits. Educational programs/tours are provided for the public and school groups during business hours. The hatchery has also worked closely with the Spearfish school system to develop an on-sight curriculum for all teachers K-5th grade.

Traveling volunteers

While we welcome volunteers for any length of time, volunteers are welcome to stay for the length of the season, which runs from April to October.  Volunteers generally work a 3-days-on, 3 days-off schedule, with 5-6 hour shifts.  In exchange for a premium RV site, each volunteer generally ends up donating 20-24 hours a week.  Volunteers work in the gift shop, give tours in the historic Booth house, staff the museum, and give tours in the restored replica fisheries railcar.  When the number of volunteers allows, visiting volunteers also have the opportunity to share their skills on projects on the site.  Volunteers can apply for seasonal positions at volunteer.gov

Local volunteers

Off-season, museum, and maintenance and grounds keeping volunteers complete projects and work in the office. For more information, contact Booth Society Executive Director, Karen Holzer at (605) 642-7730, ext. 221 or director@dcboothfishhatchery.org

Download this volunteer application to get started.


We could not operate without our volunteers! Volunteers of all ages are welcome to sign up as a volunteer. For commuting volunteers, campsites may be available. Contact the hatchery about our Volunteer Program info and fill out a volunteer application today!

Our Partners

A unique five-way partnership at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives is living proof of the adage “many hands make light work”. Our partnerships are highly valuable to us and enable us to better our services to the visiting public.

In addition to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, our partners include:

  • The Booth Society, Inc. (http://dcboothfishhatchery.org/)
  • USFWS National Fish Hatchery System
  • City of Spearfish
  • American Fisheries Society – Fish Culture Section

Booth Society, Inc.

The Booth Society, our non-profit, citizen-based friends group, manages the gift shop and information center. Funds from the gift shop are reinvested into site improvements and visitor services. The Booth Society is instrumental in organizing special events, fundraising events, advertising the hatchery and they also help manage a large summer volunteer staff. For younger visitors, they provide educational outreach at the local school systems, and provide youth activities on the hatchery grounds. The Booth Society takes volunteer applications year-round. Contact the Booth Society for more information.

Would you like to become a member of the Booth Society, either actively or as an informed participant? Donations collected by the Booth Society help maintain and repair structures on site, provide special projects, and help keep the site open and free to all visitors. If you would like to participate as a member, contact the Booth Society at 605.642.7730 x221.

City of Spearfish

The City assists with public use functions by allowing visitor parking in an adjacent parking lot, parking lot maintenance and providing law enforcement and fire protection. They provide campground sites with full hookups to our seasonal volunteers. The City administers a portion of its hospitality tax revenue through the Booth Society to promote, market and provide visitor services at the hatchery.

American Fisheries Society - Fish Culture Section

The American Fisheries Society , Fish Culture Section’s Hall of Fame is located in a replica ice house on site. The Fish Culture Hall of Fame honors persons making technological advances in fish culture. Location at the hatchery is due to the hatchery's history, large collection of fish culture artifacts and location of the hatchery in a popular tourist area. Exhibits and information about inductees are displayed. Nominations to the Fish Culture Hall of Fame must be submitted by March.

  • Along with the Hall of Fame, the Fish Culture Section maintains a Brick Walk of Fame. The public can purchase an engraved memorial brick to be placed in the brick walk. For information on nominations to the Fish Culture Hall of Fame or to purchase a brick, email the hatchery.


The Booth Society provides tours to groups and schools!

All of our venues are staffed with knowledgeable and friendly volunteers who can answer any of your questions and give tours of the Booth House, Von Bayer Museum and fisheries rail car.  We will happily provide complimentary fish food for educational groups if we receive notice prior to arrival time.