7c0e13f3-271d-49f3-8ba3-4cc8349b2b2aOn Wednesday, April 20th, veterans from the Battle Creek VAMC Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program visited the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery. The hatchery, owned and operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is located in Mattawan, MI, just a few miles west of Kalamazoo, MI.

The visit was part of the program offered by the BC VAMC PHWFF. Shana Ramsey, DNR Interpreter, provided a brief history of the hatchery, then a tour of the hatchery itself where they saw, first-hand, walleye and salmon eggs, and chinook salmon, and steelhead ready for release into Michigan rivers.

phw-wolf-lake-2016-34

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery was established in 1927 and completely renovated in 1983. This facility currently produces four different fish species for both inland and Great Lakes waters. Coldwater species produced for Great Lakes waters include steelhead trout and Chinook salmon. Coolwater species produced at this facility include walleye and Great Lakes muskellunge. The facility has both indoor and outdoor rearing facilities. The indoor facilities include 20 rectangular, concrete tanks, incubation areas with Heath trays and McDonald hatching jars for cold and coolwater eggs, and 18 circular tanks for coldwater fish production. The outdoor facilities include 12 large production raceways, four lined rearing ponds and 11 earthen ponds.

phw-wolf-lake-2016-38

The Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center features exhibits on the importance of lakes and wetlands to the Great Lakes, fisheries history, commercial fishing, lake sturgeon rehabilitation and offers tours of the hatchery.

After the tour the veterans were spoiled with a fishing opportunity in one of the holding ponds where they tried their hand catching steelhead ranging from 6-10 pounds. To wrap up the day there was a cookout of brats, chips, refreshments, and cookies.

phw-wolf-lake-2016-6