LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Everyone

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Education - Everyone

Education - Kids

Education - Educators

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Got license?
Give yourself the license to relax and catch some memories while you're at it.
Know the regulations to make your fishing more enjoyable.
Places to fish
Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
Get started
Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.
Contact information
For information, contact:
Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinGovernor Tommy G. Thompson State Fish Hatchery

Governor Tommy Thompson hatchery

DNR Photo

Hatchery information

The Governor Tommy G. Thompson Fish Hatchery is not only the state's largest cool water facility, it's the world´s largest musky hatchery. But this automated hatchery has no problems living up to those kind of standards. In many years, the hatchery produces more than half the muskellunge and walleye stocked throughout the state. With 46 rearing ponds, the facility may produce 1.5 to 2.5 million small walleye, 25,000 to 100,000 larger walleye, 35,000 to 60,000 large musky, and 10,000 to 30,000 large northern pike in a typical year.

Hatchery hours

Visitor Center: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (Please call ahead to schedule a tour).


Visitor Center
Conference room
Picnic facilities close by

Hatchery Location

951 West Maple St.
Spooner, WI 54801

Enter the hatchery from Highway 70 or enter Spooner Memorial Park from Highway 253/3 on the east

Volunteering and Friends Group

Friends into Spooner Hatchery (exit DNR)


Call (715) 635-4139 or email Neal Rosenberg


The public is welcome to visit the visitor center year-round where you'll learn about water ecology and fish rearing by viewing the incubators, rearing ponds, and educational exhibits.

Tommy Thompson State Fish Hatchery

Forty-six rearing ponds blanket the hatchery grounds.

From late April to Labor Day, call ahead to schedule a tour of the production facility, observe first hand the egg incubation operations and possibly view some of the hatchery fish before they're stocked into Wisconsin´s waters.

Spooner's Memorial Park is located off Highway 253/63. Picnic facilities are available and the hatchery is only a short walk away. The area below the Spooner Dam is excellent for fishing and is equipped with two handicapped accessible fishing piers.

Between the park and the hatchery, three piers offer great fishing and handicapped accessibility on the Yellow River Flowage. A boat launch, parking area and restroom facilities are also available on park property.


The hatchery first opened back in 1914 but was completely renovated in 1995 when the 4,568-square-foot building was replaced by a state-of-the-art 14,000-square-foot facility with room for a large drive-through incubation area, offices, conference room, prep room, and visitor center.

Fish production

Northern Pike

The hatchery produces up to 250,000 northern pike every year.

Hatchery workers collect, fertilize and transport more than 100 million eggs from the wild to the hatchery during the spring. After the eggs have hatched and grown, they are soon transferred outdoors to one of the forty, one-acre ponds or six, half-acre ponds.

When the fish are ready to be stocked out, the rearing ponds are drawn down so that the fish can be netted or dipped out. The fish are then loaded onto transport trucks, kept alive with the use of compressed oxygen, and hauled to their stocking site.

Walleye harvest

You gotta see this: harvesing walleye for the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative

The majority of walleye produced here are stocked in northern Wisconsin. Musky and northern pike are widely distributed from the north to south.

Last revised: Wednesday February 04 2015