Problems related to the early October blizzard in the Black Hills left about 1,000 fish dead at the federal hatchery at Spearfish.
Heavy snow plugged a feeder creek to the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives. The creek provides water to the ponds and raceways that are home to about 30,000 fish.
The hatchery is equipped with a backup well, but the amount of water required at the facility quickly overwhelmed the capacity of the well.
Hatchery ranger Mitch Adams discovered the problem on the morning of Oct. 5. He was the only person at the hatchery because of the partial shutdown of the federal government. He says the fish kill could have been avoided had there been more workers.
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