P.O. Box 704, 5 Fish Hatchery Court
Dubois, Wyoming 82513
The Dubois Fish Hatchery is situated at the base of the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep winter range on the east slope of the Wind River Mountains. The hatchery was originally built in 1940. In 2006, a comprehensive hatchery remodel was completed. This transformed an aging facility into a state of the art high production facility utilizing a partial reuse recirculation system on a limited water supply.
The Dubois Hatchery is located 5 miles east of Dubois on Highway 26, then 1.5 miles south on Fish Hatchery Court along the Jakeys Fork Creek.
The station is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily all year and visitors are always welcome. Guided tours are available to school groups, organizations and the general public by making a reservation.
The facility is supplied with two closed water sources stemming from artesian wells and a small spring. The artesian wells supply the facility with approximately 340 gallons per minute of 65 to 67 degree Fahrenheit water year round. This water source is also very high in iron so the water is first treated on the station with a complex iron filtration system. The second water source is a small spring that provides the facility with a flow of between 60 to 180 gallons per minute of 44 to 55 degree Fahrenheit water varying on time of the year. Both water sources are treated through multiple water treatment processes before being delivered to eggs and fish.
The Dubois Fish Hatchery incubates up to 5 million eggs each year for use at the station and other hatcheries in Wyoming and the Unites States. The Dubois incubator is supplied by the facilities two water sources and a chiller which allow the changing of egg and fry development through water temperature manipulation. This is very important because this allows many different egg lots to be brought together and reared as one. Also, by having the ability to accelerate or slow down egg and fry development allows statewide hatcheries to more easily meet fish management objectives for stocking sizes. Eggs are bought in newly fertilized and are placed in drip incubators until the eggs reach the eye stage. The amount of time this takes varies with water temperature but it typically takes about 20days. Once the eggs are eyed they are then shocked, picked, inventoried, possibly shipped and put down to hatch. Next the eggs are placed in shallow troughs and vertical incubators until the fry hatch and reach the swim-up stage. Again the amount of time to hatch will vary due to temperature but typically this takes another 20 days. After hatching the sac fry live off of their yolk for another +/- 25 days until they reach their swim-up stage and begin feeding.
The facility produces on average nearly 30,000 pounds of fish on an average inflow of just 400 gallons per minute of flow. Prior to the remodel the facility produced around 12,000 pounds of fish on 1,600 gallons per minute. Converting the hatchery from a standard flow through system into a partial reuse recirculation system has allowed for hatchery production to almost triple on only 25% of the original flow. On average a total of 500,000 fish are reared for stocking annually. Fish are started out on feed in shallow troughs inside of the hatchery building.After a few weeks, the fish are moved into larger hatchery tanks inside the building or moved outside into the smaller dual drain circular tanks. The dual drain circular tanks on-site are extremely efficient reusing over 95% of the water supplied and they are self-cleaning. As the fish continue to grow they are moved on-site into larger tanks where fish rearing conditions are optimal. Throughout the rearing cycle, fish are fed by hand most time but occasional the fish are fed by automatic feeders.
A wide variety of fish are incubated and/or reared at Dubois Hatchery. This includes: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout, Fall Rainbow Trout, Fire Hole Rainbow Trout, Arctic Grayling and Wyoming’s four native cutthroat trout: the Bear River (Bonneville), Colorado River, Snake River and Yellowstone Cutthroat.
From the facility, fish are stocked into Wyoming’s streams, ponds and lakes. The facility also supplies fish for Kids Fishing events in Dubois, Lander and Riverton every year as well. Fish are typically stocked between April and November each year. With May and June being the busiest stocking months. Stocking primarily occurs through the use of distribution trucks stationed on site. These trucks are equipped with insulated tanks that are supplied with oxygen and aerators. Other fish stocking methods personnel assist with include: helicopter, ATV’s and backpack. Fish as small as one inch up to ten inches are stocked each year. The size at stocking is determined through recommendations from the area fish managers.