Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery
Ten Sleep Hatchery
HC 30 Box 2240
Ten Sleep, Wyoming 82442
: (307) 366-2404
Located 8 miles east of the town of Ten sleep on Highway 16.
The Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery was constructed in 1939 and is nestled in beautiful Ten Sleep Canyon 9 miles east of the town of Ten Sleep off U.S. Highway 16. It is situated upstream from the confluence of Leigh Creek and Ten Sleep Creek at the base of the popular Big Horn Mountains. The hatchery is manned by three permanent personnel who are responsible for the care and maintenance of the facility as well as the hatching and rearing of several species of trout including rainbow, brook, cutthroat, splake, and tiger trout. In a typical year, the hatchery receives between 1 and 2 million green, or just fertilized, eggs. Some are hatched at the facility, and others are shipped to facilities throughout the state and the country once they reached the eyed stage of development. The eggs hatched at the facility are stocked in area waters with reasonable public access. The hatchery is an integral part of the state’s fish culture system stocking approximately 250,000 fish into Wyoming’s waters.
Where does the hatchery get its water?
The hatchery is supplied by three freshwater springs. The largest of the three springs provide 454 gallons per minute of 59°F water, while the two smaller springs provide 269 gallons per minute of 46°F water. These three springs can either be mixed or used separately to provide a wide variety of hatching and rearing temperatures.
A Home for Cutthroats
The hatchery is home to the endemic Yellowstone cutthroat trout brood stock. The spawning population consists of approximately 2,600 fish that provides on average 1.2 million eggs per year. The captive stock is spawned weekly beginning the first week of March through early May. Offspring from this brood stock are used for restoration efforts and for stocking into popular fishing waters throughout the state.
Whirling Disease and the Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery
In February of 2008, routine disease testing at the hatchery found the parasite that causes whirling disease. As a result, the 2009 Wyoming State Legislature approved funding to be used for the renovation and rehabilitation of the facility to address this whirling disease issue. Construction of the facility was completed in the fall of 2011 and included many different components to treat the production water. New concrete vaults were built around the hatchery’s three springs to both contain the water produced and exclude any surface water from entering. Several large drum filters equipped with ultraviolet lights were installed to rid the water of pathogens that might be harmful to the fish. Equipment was installed to condition the water for optimal fish growth and health. The interior of the hatchery building was also completely renovated, replacing old concrete troughs with fiberglass circular tanks, and replacing the old raceways found outside with new fiberglass and concrete circular tanks. These renovations not only will address the whirling disease issue, but also protect the facility against other pathogen threats in the future.
How do I get to the Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery?
The hatchery is located in Ten Sleep canyon, 9 miles east of the town of Ten Sleep, Wyoming off U.S. Highway 16 on Highway 435. The hatchery invites you to stop by and visit. Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to5 p.m. daily, seven days a week. Visitors can begin their visit at the information kiosk located just east of the hatchery entrance. Informational signs can be found throughout the facility that describes hatchery equipment and operations.School and group tours are available with advanced approval so long as they fit into the hatchery’s schedule.Please contact the hatchery if you would like to schedule a tour.