05/01/2012 - CASPER – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department invites the public to attend a special dedication for the Dan Speas Fish Hatchery from 9-11 a.m. Friday, April 27.
The newly renovated Dan Speas Fish Hatchery will have a huge impact on increasing fishing opportunities for Wyoming anglers and allowing other fish hatcheries to expand their operations to meet diverse stocking needs throughout the state. The new facility will also provide opportunities for the public to see how fish are raised from eggs to large fish in a modern, visitor-friendly environment.
"Speas is now a showcase fish rearing facility that all the citizens of Wyoming can be proud of," said Robin Kepple, information specialist for the Casper Game and Fish office. The facility, which began production in 1959, was and still is the largest fish culture facility in Wyoming.
In order to provide more fishing opportunity to Wyoming anglers, the Game and Fish Department sought to improve the Speas facility through renovation, by the addition of new circular tanks for rearing fish, and a new hatchery building. Prior to renovation, fish production averaged 90,000 pounds of fish per year. With the improvements, the facility produced 229,000 pounds of fish in 2011 and Speas can now meet the stocking needs for many Wyoming reservoirs and lakes. The renovations bring Speas up to speed with new technology in fish culture. "Overall, it means more fish for Wyoming anglers to pursue," Kepple said.
The 2004 and 2006 Wyoming Legislatures allocated funding to renovate and expand the facility. Funding for construction of the new hatchery building was provided through the Wyoming Water Development Commission and the Water Development Account as mitigation for the Pathfinder Modification Project. Landowners Brian and Susan Hunter granted the Game and Fish Department permission to drill a well on their property as a second water source for the facility. And Wyoming Fly Casters contributed to the purchase of 34.4 acres of land to meet effluent water treatment needs.