MANISTIQUE, MI – After a renovation, the Thompson State Hatchery exceeded expectations by producing 20,000 muskellunge fry which were stocked in Michigan.
Over the years, the Manistique Hatchery produced millions of fish to meet the state’s management and recreational needs, but the facility was aging. In response, the state completed a renovation, including a new cold water facility and pond complex, in spring 2021, which is already seeing a return on investment with increased fish production.
With the upgrades, the hatchery was expected to produce 18,000 fall muskellunge. Instead, 20,000 were harvested and stored in November.
It’s a “much-needed boost” to production statewide, said Ed Eisch, DNR’s director of fish production. “The fish were healthy and strong, and the harvesting operation went very well.”
RELATED: DNR stocked Michigan waters with 13.5 tons of fish in fall 2021, see where
This spring, the cold water facility and ponds will be used for walleye production, with an expectation of 250,000 fingerlings. The hatchery also produces chinook salmon and rainbow trout, which will also benefit from upgrades “for decades to come,” Eisch said.
The cold water facility includes a hatchery building with a biosecure room to receive and disinfect eggs; an egg incubation and hatching room with basins to receive hatched walleye fry; and the Lined Ponds Complex consisting of two 1-acre ponds and four half-acre ponds.
Two new production wells supply breeding water. The incubation water can be heated or cooled to manage the timing of fry hatching, and the electrical infrastructure that supports it is backed up by a new generator that starts automatically in the event of a loss of main power.
Production ponds are covered with netting to keep predators away. A lined solar pool allows preheated water to be introduced into the rearing pools to avoid thermal shocks to the fish.
The hatchery upgrades were designed with engineering consultant HDR. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan recently recognized the project with its Engineering and Surveying Excellence Merit Award.
800 Gallons of Paint Makes Lake Michigan Car Ferry Like New
Why Having a “Bee Lawn” Benefits Your Garden and How to Get Started
Silver Lake State Park streamlines entry and creates experimental expressway for dune-ready vehicles