June 2021 - 14

A LOOK BACK CASE FILES
The Sundance hatchery was the third hatchery to be opened in Wyoming and operated from 1895 until 1908. (Photo courtesy of the University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Samuel H.
Knight Collection, Accession Number 400044, Box 82)
Fading into the sun
A fish hatchery in Sundance didn't last long
By Christina Schmidt
T
he proposal to create a government
fish hatchery in Sundance came
before Wyoming was a state.
It would have been the second
territorial hatchery, after the creation of the
Laramie hatchery in 1885.
The idea was presented
in Fish
Commissioner Louis Miller's 1889 annual
report where he noted 10,000 young
brook trout from the Laramie hatchery he
stocked in Beaver Creek south of Sundance
the previous year had done exceptionally
well. However, many fish died in transit.
A hatchery in Sundance could receive eggs
from Laramie, Miller reasoned, then hatch
and raise the fish until ready for stocking.
The suggestion of a second hatchery
quickly became a topic of discussion in local
14 | June 2021
newspapers as other communities saw the
potential value in hosting a hatchery.
" Why not Douglas? " asked the Douglas
Budget in November 1889. " Sundance is in
an out-of the-way corner of the territory,
with absolutely no outlet save to the south,
and no railroad connections. "
" We beg leave to inform the Budget that is
just the reason why a branch hatchery should
be located here, " retorted the Sundance
Republican. " It is almost impossible to get
fish here alive from Laramie. " Glenrock also
petitioned for a hatchery.
In the end, more than half a decade
would pass before a second hatchery would
become reality. In 1895, the state legislature
authorized $3,000 for two new fish hatcheries
- $2,500 for one in Sheridan County and
$500 for one in Sundance.
State Fish Commissioner and Game
State Fish Commissioner and Game Warden Gustave Schnitger
was an advocate for the construction of the Sundance hatchery.
(WGFD photo)

June 2021

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