Fish hatcheries benefit from Wyoming’s cold, clean waters

Fish think growing up in the coldest and cleanest mountain waters beats the human conveniences of smooth roads and cell phone service, and we can’t disagree.

7/8/2022 4:31:06 PM

Cheyenne - Fish think growing up in the coldest and cleanest mountain waters beats the human conveniences of smooth roads and cell phone service, and we can’t disagree. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department hatchery locations were chosen because of one main reason — water.

“Trout need a good, clean spring water source,” said Guy Campbell, Game and Fish culture supervisor. “Spring water sources, like the ones where our hatcheries are located, are a reliable water source that generally don’t carry pathogens that are harmful to fish health.”

Being a headwaters state with good mountain snowpacks means Wyoming is an excellent place for growing trout. The melt-off is often referred to as “recharging the spring.”

“The number of fish you can raise is primarily based on the amount of water you have. Lots of clean, fresh water helps hatcheries meet the quotas and stocking plans for fish each year,” he said.

There are other reasons for these off-the-beaten-path locations. 

Water temperature for trout makes a difference, too. Water temperatures in hatcheries and rearing stations are a cool 46-60 degrees. This makes a big difference in a place like Story Hatchery, the only location in the United States with a captive broodstock of genetically pure golden trout. Golden trout flourish there because of the unique water temperature profile that closely mimics the seasonal water temperatures they would normally find in high mountain lakes.

In fact, all native trout grow up well in places similar to their typical ranges. For example, Auburn Hatchery raises a Snake River cutthroat brood stock and Daniel Hatchery is home to a Colorado River cutthroat, both of which have similar environments to their home ranges.  

Another great benefit? Visitors can stop by all the hatcheries while traveling through the Cowboy State. Hatchery visits guarantee amazing scenery and a healthy serving of knowledge. Hatchery staff welcomes visitors who want to tour hatcheries.

Hatchery locations and details about their history can be found on the Game and Fish website. 


(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer - (

- WGFD -

  • information

Dry Piney wildlife-crossing project construction well underway

This section of Highway 189 has one of the highest wildlife-vehicle collision rates in Wyoming

Continue reading...

Applications open for Antelope Hunt Event licenses

Organizations can submit applications to the department from Aug. 1- 31.

Continue reading...

Wyoming conservation partners invested $10.5 million for habitat projects

The projects are valuable for conserving and growing populations of more than 800 species in Wyoming. 

Continue reading...

Public asked to report dead sage grouse during West Nile virus season

While there are no signs of an outbreak, Game and Fish asks the public annually for reports to help in the management of the state’s sage grouse populations.

Continue reading...

Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today


Conserving Wildlife - Serving People