Minnesota's fish hatchery system

Map showing locations of DNR fish hatcheries

Map showing locations of DNR fish hatcheries. Red circles designate cool-water hatcheries. Stars designate cold-water hatcheries. Squares designate cool- and warm-water hatcheries.

Walleye fingerlings from a DNR fish hatchery being stocked

Walleye fingerlings from a DNR fish hatchery being stocked.

DNR hatcheries produce fish that are a critical part of our efforts to maintain and enhance fishing opportunities in 4,300 managed lakes and 16,000 miles of fishable streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.

Stocking these hatchery-raised fish significantly enhances fishing in Minnesota by providing angling opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

Each of the DNR's 15 hatcheries plays a unique role in our stocking efforts. The fish each produces helps supports the $4.2 billion contribution anglers make each year to the state economy.

Every year, cold-water hatcheries in Altura, Lanesboro, Peterson and Remer provide 1.7 million trout each year for stocking into 200 lakes and 100 streams throughout Minnesota. Trout raised at these hatcheries include brook, brown, lake, rainbow and splake.

Cool- and warm-water hatcheries in Walker Lake, Bemidji, Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Glenwood, Grand Rapids, New London, Park Rapids, St. Paul, Tower and Waterville provide walleye, northern pike, muskellunge and channel catfish for stocking in 1,100 lakes and some rivers.

Some of out hatcheries were constructed in the 1950s and still operate with original equipment. Many are in dire need of repairs and upgrades. The most pressing needs include:

  • Biosecurity upgrades to protectagainst fish diseases and invasive species;
  • Radon and mold mitigation;
  • Employee safety‐related repairs;
  • Replacement of failing infrastructure such as plumbing, electrical and essential buildings;
  • Pond, raceway and rearing‐unit maintenance or replacement; and
  • Energy efficiency upgrades.

Lanesboro's failing infrastructure could disrupt trout stocking statewide

Map showing locations of the 67 streams and 101 lakes where trout produced at Lanesboro are stocked.

Map showing locations of the 67 streams and 101 lakes where trout produced at Lanesboro are stocked.

The Lanesboro hatchery produces about 710,000 rainbow trout and brown trout each year. The hatchery maintains brood stock for producing these species. Each year, about 67 streams and 101 lakes across the state are stocked with trout produced there.

If improvements aren't made, the hatcheries ability to produce fish to meet those stocking needs will be reduced.

Immediate needs at Lanesboro, which hasn't had any major repairs since 1977, include:

  • Replacement of failing infrastructure that is essential to hatchery operations;
  • Biosecurity upgrades to protect hatchery fish from diseases; and
  • Pond, raceway and rearing‐unit maintenance.

 

This steel I-beam, which is rusting because of trapped moisture, supports the nursery building’s roof in Lanesboro.

This steel I-beam, which is rusting because of trapped moisture, supports the nursery building’s roof in Lanesboro.

A close-up of the rust at the bottom of the I-beam.

A close-up of the damage caused by rust at the bottom of the I-beam.

The spring that provides water to the hatchery can’t be adequately covered, which is a potential biohazard.

The spring that provides water to the hatchery can’t be adequately covered, which is a potential biohazard.

Hatcheries are on the DNR's fix-it list

Notebook, hardhat, tools, nails and tape measureThe capital assets that the DNR manages belong to the citizens of Minnesota and are essential to providing outdoor recreation and natural resources management. These assets are aging and many are in disrepair and need urgent fixing.

Repairs are needed to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and natural resources experiences for all Minnesotans. We have facilities in every county that support more than $30 billion in economic activity and these fixes will create hundreds of construction jobs across the state.

DNR's capital needs