Housed on the grounds of D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, the National Fish & Aquatic Conservation Archives (NFACA) is a national program within the Fish & Aquatic Conservation Program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The artifacts and records encompass the breadth and depth of its history, which goes back to 1871. The U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries, as it was then called, is our nation’s oldest federal conservation agency (and is now part of today’s U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).
The D.C. Booth hatchery staff established the NFACA Collection in the early 1970’s. Today the collection comprises over 2 million objects and archival documents from our fish stations, past and present, across the United States. The 10,000 square foot Collection Management building includes a 5,000 square foot storage area, conservation lab, accession and receiving area, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Offices.
If you are interested in donating a Federal fisheries artifact, document or photo to the collection, please call 605-642-7730 x215. Research in the NFACA is by appointment.
The NFACA collections mission is to collect, preserve and share the stories of the history, culture, management, resources, challenges, and successes of the Fish & Aquatic Conservation Program with researchers and the general public.
A sampling of artifacts and archival material is on display in the original 1899 hatchery building on the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery grounds. The museum tells the story of the history and technology of our nation’s fish culture: tools used, transportation methods of live fish, eggs, and more. By utilizing the museum collection, we hope to increase the awareness of the various roles and the inestimable value of fish culture and fisheries in everyday life. This includes the contributions of fish culture to the recreational and social wellbeing of the people of the United States and the world.
The museum is open daily in the summer and is free. It is a self-guided tour and scavenger hunts are available for kids. Completed scavenger hunts may be turned in at the Pond Gift Shop for a cup of fish food!