The Governor Tommy G. Thompson State Fish Hatchery is one of Wisconsin’s most modern cool-water fish hatcheries. The 1994-95 renovation and expansion of the former Spooner Fish Hatchery was the largest development project in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ history at the time. It was completed on November 21, 1995.
Many people still refer to the Hatchery as the Spooner Hatchery and that’s where the Friends Group gets its acronym, FISH
You can become a member of FISH by going to our membership page. You can sign up online or download the membership form and mail it in. All of our membership levels are affordable and designed to keep individuals and families involved in the world of fish. Angling is a lifetime sport and we want to involve everyone in learning and experiencing this exceptional activity.
Other Hatchery and Area Highlights
Spooner is a vibrant small town in Northern Wisconsin. There are lots of good eateries, shopping, sightseeing and other activities for families, couples and groups. We’d love to have you visit!
- The hatchery has a small conference room available for public use
- Spooner’s Memorial Park is located off Hwy 253/63 at the east side of the hatchery. Picnic facilities are available and the hatchery is only a short walk away.
- Three piers offer great fishing and some handicapped accessibility on the Yellow River Flowage between the park and the hatchery. A boat launch, parking area and bathroom facilities are also available on park property
- A walking path from the hatchery visitor parking lot south across the dam leads to Memorial Park. Follow the path south outside of the deer-proof fence to the Washburn County Fairgrounds. This is home to the famous Spooner Rodeo in July and the Washburn County Fair in early August. Unfortunately, the Rodeo has been cancelled for the summer of 2020, but keep an eye on the Fair’s website for updates on their events.
- The area below the Spooner Dam is excellent for fishing both cool- and cold-water fish species. It has two handicapped accessible fishing piers. Grab a friend and go fishing. Get a license online.
- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Northern Region headquarters is north of the hatchery across Hwy 70. Stop in for information concerning Wisconsin’s natural resources. Snowmobile, ATV registration and boat registration, hunting and fishing licenses, burning permits and water regulation permits are a few of the services offered. There are tons of brochures and information on the Natural Resources of Northern Wisconsin (including regulations!) and a friendly staff to help you find what you need. Once again that darn Corona gets in the way of all our fun. The DNR Service Centers are closed right now, but keep checking the DNR’s website for updates.
- The Washburn County Tourism office and the Spooner Chamber of Commerce office is a couple of blocks down Maple street just off the corner of Hwy 70 (Maple Street) and Hwy 63 (River Street). Here you’ll find a plethora of information on dining, lodging, attractions and activities in our area.
We hope you enjoy your visit to our website! Our goal is to help you understand the process of raising fish to stock in the wild, improve Wisconsin’s fishery and the experience of fishing in Wisconsin!
Come again and bring your friends!