An aerial shot of large concrete raceways inside a building at Daniel Fish Hatchery.

Daniel Fish Hatchery

Wyoming's Daniel Fish Hatchery is important in fish conservation and stocking efforts. Located near Daniel, Wyoming, the hatchery focuses on raising and stocking various fish species into Wyoming's waters. The hatchery conducts spawning of the endemic Colorado River cutthroat trout, egg and fry incubation, and fish stocking to support fishing opportunities for present and future generations.

Fish Hatchery Information


Located in a mountain valley between the west slope of the Wind River Mountains and the east slope of the Wyoming Range, the Daniel Fish Hatchery rests in a scenic location on the banks of Forty Rod Creek. The hatchery is located 15 miles northwest of Pinedale on U.S. 191 and 2.4 miles west on Sublette County Road 23-150 (Pape Road).

Daniel Fish Hatchery Address

P.O. Box 168, 239 Pape County Road
Daniel, Wyoming 83115

(307) 859-8252

Driving Directions

Fish Hatchery Hours:

The hatchery is open to the public 8 am - 5 pm daily.


Fish Hatchery Video Tour

Daniel Hatchery Fun Facts

  • Daniel Fish Hatchery produces approximately 500,000-750,000 fish annually.
  • The species Daniel Fish Hatchery raises include brook, brown, cutthroat, golden, and lake trout. The hatchery also raises splake, tiger trout, and kokanee salmon.
  • Daniel Hatchery's water is relatively cold at 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold water temperature allows hatchery personnel to slow the growth of fish to provide small fish for helicopter, horse packing, backpacking and ATV stocking.
  • Three dedicated Department personnel are stationed at the Daniel Hatchery. They are responsible for the egg care, incubation, fish rearing, stocking, maintenance and operation of the facility on a year-round basis.
  • One natural spring and one pumped well source of water provide approximately 2 million gallons of water a day to the hatchery during peak months.
  • The hatchery is home to the endemic Colorado River cutthroat trout brood stock. The spawning population consists of approximately 2,400 fish that provide, on average, 1.0 million eggs per year.
  • Approximately 250,000 fish are stocked from Daniel each year. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department stocks fish in waters where there is suitable habitat and public fishing is allowed.

Hatchery Broodstock

An illustration of the Colorado River cutthroat trout

The Daniel Hatchery provides spawning, egg incubation and rearing for Wyoming's native Colorado River cutthroat trout.

Offspring from these brood fish are predominantly used for restoration efforts and fishing opportunities in their native drainage. This stock is extremely important because wild populations of these fish occupy a very small area. If a catastrophic event happened and a wild stock was lost, this captive stock could be used to restore the lost population. Some of these fish are also stocked outside their native range to provide more diverse fishing opportunities.

An aerial photo showing the Daniel Fish Hatchery with 40 rod creek flowing to the left of the raceways in the image.

Daniel Fish Hatchery History

In 1915, the Pinedale Commercial Club realized the need for a fish hatchery at or near Pinedale to provide fish for many lakes and streams in the area. A bill was introduced in the fourteenth legislature, appropriating $7,000 to construct a hatchery at or near Daniel.   
In June 1917, the Pape ranch was selected for the hatchery, and the land was donated by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Pape to the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission for the Daniel Fish Hatchery.
The construction of the Daniel Fish Hatchery was let to the Lincoln Lumber Company of Kemmerer, Wyoming, to build a 40’ X 50’ building with a cement floor and foundation containing 28 rearing troughs and 1600’ of wooden pipeline to deliver 180gpm of spring water. The cost was $5,803.00, and the project was completed in April 1918.

Throughout the years, the Daniel Hatchery has undergone significant renovations to keep up with new technology in fish culture, with improvement and being expanded in 1966 and again in 1999. The Daniel Hatchery is one of the oldest continuously operating hatcheries in the state and has been in operation for over 100 years. 

Where does Daniel Fish Hatchery Get Its Water?

A natural spring and pumped well source provide the constant cold water needed for a successful fish hatchery. Water flowing from the spring fluctuates from a low of 250 gallons per minute (gpm) in March to a high of 600 gpm in July. Water from the pumped well source provides 1400 gpm. During these peak months, these sources provide approximately 2.0 million gallons of water daily at an average temperature of 46°F. After passing over the fish, the water is released to Forty Rod Creek.

A photo of 40 rod creek with grassy banks and a split-rail fence intersecting the creek.