Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery

Office address

Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery
23789 Grosbeak Road
Lanesboro, MN 55949
tel. 507-765-0010
[email protected]

Hatchery staff

  • Hatchery Supervisor: Scott Sindelar
  • Assistant Hatchery Supervisor: Derrick Casper
  • Hatchery Specialist: Troy LeJeune
  • Hatchery Technician: Cam Mitchell

Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery History

Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery is Minnesota’s largest coldwater production hatchery.

In 1925, the state purchased the 18.7 acre Duschee Creek spring site which at the time was an old flour mill that captured the power of the large spring to turn its massive grinding wheel, turning grain into flour. The cost of this initial purchase was $11,000. The flour mill was converted into the original trout hatchery. The first trout were hatched in 1926. However, the old spring impoundment gave way cutting off the water supply to the fish. A new spring collection system and impoundment had to be built. It was completed in 1927 along with a new addition to the old mill building, increasing the size of the hatchery. Brook Trout (300,000) were produced in 1927, thus becoming the first successful year of production.

From 1925 to 1956, 84.1 acres were purchased in seven separate transactions. In 1956, a second spring located about 1/2 mile upstream of the current site was added, the result of a 3.1 acre land purchase. In 1985, an additional 28 acres were purchased.

Pond and raceway construction began in 1927 and continued through WPA projects until 1940. In 1952, the old hatchery building burned down, and was replaced in 1954.  The 1954 building suffered extensive flood damage and eventual deterioration, and was replaced in 2020-21 with the present hatchery and headquarters building. The five brood stock raceways were added in 1976-77 and a roof extension added in 2003. In 1987, the 12 large raceways built in 1951 were covered by a large pole type building.  An intermediate rearing building was added in 2005-06 and included 8 additional raceways for fingerling production.

Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery Water Source

Two artesian springs provide an average of 5,000 gallons of water per minute to the hatchery. The water is a constant 48F year round. The springs are a result of the karst topography in the area. The karst topography is a part of the driftless area of southeast Minnesota. This is characterized by caves, sinkholes, springs, underground streams and cold streams. The glaciers that covered and flattened most of Minnesota 10,000 years ago didn't reach this part of the state. However, the melting water from the glaciers did. The melt water scoured 300 feet deep valleys that exposed bedrock. Cracks in the bedrock began to release water that was stored in the ground (called aquifers). The result is artesian springs.


The hatchery has incubation capacity of 2.4 million trout eggs. The nursery has 56 fiberglass fry troughs for starting fish and 56 fiberglass super troughs for fingerlings. Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery utilizes two outdoor rearing ponds with a combined volume of 223,000 cubic feet and 34 concrete raceways of various sizes with a total volume of 34,700 cubic feet for fingerling, yearling and brood stock production. About 100,000 pounds of Rainbow and Brown Trout are produced each year for stocking.

Tours & Public Information

Visitors are welcome to the Lanesboro hatchery for a self-guided tour each weekday from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Guided tours are also available by appointment.

Hatchery Interpretive Trail & Handicap Accessible Trail

The trail is located outside of the hatchery grounds with a parking lot for fisherman and trail users. This trail was developed to provide easy access to fishing and interpret the instream habitat structures placed in Duschee Creek. The trail is approximately 1/3 mile long one way with interpretive signs along the trail and examples of habitat structures. The trail is open year round.

The handicap accessible trail is part of the interpretive trail. It has seven different accessible fish spots along the trail.

Hatchery fact sheet

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