Iowa History Daily: On May 5, 1920, the Decorah Journal first discussed plans for a new state fish hatchery located just south of the Winneshiek County seat. Responsible for raising around 130,000 catchable-size rainbow trout each year, the hatchery provides stocking fish for 15 put-and-take streams in northeastern Iowa.
After the initial construction during the 1920s, the Civilian Conservation Corps lent a hand to construct a limestone office building and administrator residence. Over the decades staff at the site worked to develop new methods of trout raising while providing stock for various lakes and streams throughout the state.
In 2018, the Iowa Natural Resources Commission voted to rename the facility to honor retired Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Chuck Gipp. A dairy farmer from northeastern Iowa and a former Iowa House of Representatives Majority Leader, Gipp dedicated years to the protection and preservation of Iowa’s natural resources.
Today, the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery raises rainbow trout in 24 raceways and three rubber-lined earthen ponds. Open to the public 365 days a year, the site continues to provide for fond memories on site and in trout streams throughout the fifteen put-and-take streams in Allamakee, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek counties, while also stocking lakes in Mason City, Sioux City, Spencer, Ames, and the Greater Des Moines Area.