Restoring our state’s aquatic ecosystems


THAT WOULD BE THE PERFECT PLACE TODAY. RACHAEL: I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S OPEN, YET. WE WILL HAVE TO CHECK THAT OUT. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN MICHIGAN. ONE, WE ARE SURROUNDED BY A LOT OF WATER. TERRI: OUR STATE BORDERS FOUR OF THE FIVE GREAT LAKES, FILLED WITH IN LAND O’LAKES, HILLS, STREAMS, WITH ALL SORTS OF FISH AROUND US. THE PRESENCE OF SALMON, TROUT, IT JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN NATURALLY. TO HAVE NUMEROUS HATCHERIES WHERE THE FISH ARE RAISED TO STOCK THE WATERWAYS. RACHAEL: PLACES WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE FISH UP CLOSE AND LEARN ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION. THEY ARE FREE TO VISIT. COME WITH US AS WE TAKE YOU INSIDE THE STATE FISH HATCHERY IN NOT A ONE. AS THE WEATHER WARMS UP, WE WILL BE SPENDING MORE TIME OUTSIDE ENJOYING ALL THE BEAUTY MICHIGAN HAS TO OFF THAT TAKES A LOT OF WORK ALL YEAR LONG, SO WE ARE HERE AT THE STATE FISH HATCHERY WITH SHAYNA WHAT DOESN’T HAPPEN HEREHERE. MIGHT BE A BETTER QUESTION. WE HAVE FISH ALL YEAR ROUND. WE GATHER FISH FROM THE WILD, LAKES, RIVERS, AND STREAMS, AND WE BRING THEM BACK TO THE HATCHERY TO RAISE THEM FOR A FEW DAYS TO UP TO A YEAR AND WHEN WE GET BIG ENOUGH WE PUT THEM OUT INTO THE LAKES, THE RIVERS, AND THE STREAMS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANGLERS, OUTDOOR RECREATION, AND TO KEEP OUR LAKES, RIVERS, AND STREAMS HEALTHY. RACHAEL: IT’S WONDERFUL AND THERE IS A FANTASTIC VISITOR’S CENTER HERE. WHAT CAN A PERSON COMING HERE EXPERIENCE? A LOT. IT’S ALL AGES AND IT’S ALL FREE. YOU CAN TAKE A TOUR OF THE HATCHERY TO SEE HOW WE RAISE FISH EVERY YEAR. WE HAVE A LOT OF EXHIBITS, A MUSEUM, A SMALL GIFT SHOP. WE HAVE LOTS OF DIFFERENT SPECIES OF FISH. ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE ONES THAT WE HAVE ARE THE ARCTIC RAYLENE’ S AND THERE CURRENTLY AN EFFORT TO REINTRODUCE THEM TO MICHIGAN. RACHAEL: THOSE ARE IN THE AQUARIUM RIGHT BEHIND US HERE. SHANA: WE ALSO HAVE LAKE STURGEON, WITH NATURE TRAILS OPEN YEAR ROUND. YOU CAN SEE THE FISH, WE HAVE KIDS FISHING PROGRAMS DURING THE SUMMER AND SOME ADULT FISHING PROGRAMS AND THINGS LIKE WOMEN’S FLYFISHING, INTRO TO WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. RACHAEL: ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE THINGS ABOUT THIS PLACE IS THE ACTUAL HATCHERY. I KNOW THAT PEOPLE CAN REALLY LEARN A LOT. LET’S HEAD INTO THIS — INTO THE HATCHERY AND CHECK IT OUT. SO THIS IS WHERE THE FISH ARE ACTUALLY RAISED. IT’S A PRETTY COOL PLACE. SHANA: ABSOLUTELY, AGAIN, WE RAISE FOUR DIFFERENT SPECIES OF FISH, INCLUDING THIS RELIC OF A DINOSAUR, THE LAKE STURGEON, A THREATENED SPECIES IN MICHIGAN, NOT FOUND VERY MANY PLACES. WE RAISE IT FROM DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AND WE HAVE THEM HERE IN AN EDUCATIONAL FACILITY WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE COMING THROUGH EVERY YEAR THAT WANT TO LEARN ABOUT FISH AND WHAT WE DO. THIS IS THE BIGGEST FISH IN MICHIGAN. IT CAN BE 300 POUNDS, NINE FEET LONG, CAN LIVE 150 YEARS. LONGER THAN A HUMAN CAN LIVE. RACHAEL: PRETTY INCREDIBLE. WHEN YOU ARE HERE IN THE HATCHERY, YOU CAN SEE THE FULL CIRCLE OF LIFE FOR FISH. I MEAN, FROM FISH EGGS TO WHEN YOU ARE BASICALLY AT THE POINT WHERE YOU GROW THEM TO LEAVE THE HATCHERY ON A TRUCK. SHANA: WE HAVE FISH AT ALL DIFFERENT LIFE STAGES. IT DEPENDS ON THE TIME OF YEAR THAT YOU COME. WE HAVE WALLEYE, HALF OF A MILLION IN EACH OF THE JARS AND RIGHT NOW, ABOUT 20 MILLION FISH EGGS HERE AND WE WILL GET THE REST OF OUR FISH TODAY, EQUALING THE 30 MILLION WALLEYE EGGS THAT WE WILL BE RAISING THIS YEAR. AFTER THAT WE KEEP THEM FOR SEVERAL DAYS AND THEY ARE PUT IN PONDS LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE STATE. AND THEN A DIFFERENT FISH, LIKE THE STEEL EYED TROUT, WE WILL GET ABOUT 2 MILLION OF THOSE EGGS AND WE WILL COME TO THE HATCHERY AND THEY WILL BE PUT IN A TRAY INSTEAD OF A JAR. THEY HATCH AND THEN WE MOVE THEM INTO LARGER TANKS AND THE6 C13 REMAIN HERE FOR A FULL YEAR. AND THEN YOU’VE GOT OUR SALMON, WHICH WE ALSO GET FROM THE LITTLE MANATEE RIVER. WE GET THOSE EGGS IN THE FALL, THEY GO OUT AGAIN IN THE SPRING, IT’S A BUSY TIME OF YEAR FOR US, A LOT GOING ON. THE NORTH SPECIES OF FISH, THE REAT LAKES MUSKIE, WE GET THOSE IN MID TO LATE MAY. THEY WILL BE AT THE HATCHERY THROUGH THE FALL AND WE WILL STOCK THOSE ACROSS THE STATE. RACHAEL: WHAT WOULD A PERSON SEE IF THEY COME TO THE SH POND? SHANA: A VARIETY OF SPECIES. THE STEELHEAD TROUT, THOSE ARE THE MOST EXCITING IN TERMS OF JUMPING, BUT THERE IS ALSO CHINOOK SALMON, WALLEYE, AND IF YOU ARE HAVING A REALLY LUCKY DAY YOU MIGHT GET A CHANCE TO SEE THE TWO SIX FOOT LONG LAKE STURGEON THAT LIVE IN THE POND. RACHAEL: THERE’S OBVIOUSLY A LOT TO SEE AND LEARN ABOUT HERE. HOW IS IT FUNDED? SHANA: PRIMARILY FROM THE SALE OF HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES. YOU ARE SUPPORTING ALL CONSERVATION WHEN YOU GET THAT LICENSE AND A LOT OF IT IS GOING RIGHT HERE TO PLACES LIKE WOLF LAKE TO HELP US RAISE FISH FOR LTHY LAKES, RIVERS, STREAMS, AND TO HAVE A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN GO TO VIEW THESE FISH, EXPERIENCE THE OUTDOORS AND LEARN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. RACHAEL: IT’S SO IMPORTANT, THE WORK THAT TAKES PLACE HERE, WITH ONE MILLION ANGLERS IN THE STATE FROM THE CASUAL PERSON THAT WANTS TO ENJOY WILDLIFE TO THE PERSON INVOLVED IN SPORT FISHING. SHANA: YES, ALL OF THAT MONEY WILL BE FUNDING CONSERVATION. WILDLIFE CONSERVATION HELPING OUT IN MICHIGAN, HELPING FISH SPECIES, MANAGING OUR LAKES, RIVERS, STREAMS, FOREST, ALL OF THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT. JUST SUPPORTING CONSERVATION IN GENERAL IS GOING TO HELP PLACES LIKE THE WOLF LAKE FISH HATCHERY TO BE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME TO COME. RACHAEL: THINGS FOR HAVING US, WE APPRECIATE IT. SHANA: THANKS FOR HAVING ME. RACHAEL: IT’S INCREDIBLE THERE. YOU KNOW, IT IS SUCH A HIDDEN GEM. YOU WOULDN’T THINK OF GOING THERE AND LEARNING SO MUCH, BUT AS YOU SAW, THEY HAVE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES PRODUCING FOUR DIFFERENT FISH SPECIES. THE WORK BEING DONE THERE IS REALLY HELPING TO RESTORE THE STATE’S DIVERSE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM AND IT IS A COOL PLACE FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES TO VISIT, ESPECIALLY FOR SCHOOL KIDS TO LEARN ALL ABOUT THE FISH CYCLE. THE HATCHERY CENTER IS IN VAN BUREN COUNTY, TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, OFFERING TOURS ON THE WEEKENDS AND THEY EVEN HAVE AN ART MARKET ON SATURDAY, MAY 4, WITH THE WORKS OF LOCAL ARTISTS. RACHAEL: AND IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EVENTS pTAKING PLACE AT THAT HATCHERY, GO TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE AND LEARN ABOUT THE WORK OF THE MICHIGAN WILDLIFE COUNCIL AND WE TALK ABOUT THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO APPRECIATE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION EFFORTS. YOU CAN HEAD TO OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN ABOUT THE MANY DIFFERENT EFFORTS HAPPENING IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN TO KEEP WHAT WE HAVE HERE CHRISTINE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. TERRI: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CONSERVATION. RACHAEL: IT ABSOLUTELY IS. THAT IS ON OUR LIST FOR SOMETHING TO DO THIS SUMMER. I’M TAKING MY KIDS, IT’S SO COOL.

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