The public is invited to attend an open house at the Waterville area fisheries office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Saturday, April 19, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Spring is a busy time of year for us and a great chance for the public to learn first-hand about some of the things we do,” explained Scott Mackenthun, assistant area fisheries supervisor. “We anticipate northern pike hatching to be in full operation by the open house and the public can learn how and why we stock pike in southern Minnesota.”
Mackenthun said many people are unaware of the northern pike stocking program that is unique to south-central Minnesota; this is a chance to see it in person. The fisheries team rears, harvests and distributes walleye, channel catfish, muskellunge and northern pike from the hatchery and rearing ponds located in the Waterville area. Each year, the team produces 45 million walleye fry and 2 million northern pike fry for stocking in lakes locally and throughout the state.
The goal of the office is to improve fishing on 78 lakes and 107 rivers and streams across Blue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Le Sueuer, Mower, Rice, Steele and Waseca counties. This is accomplished by gathering information, improving and protecting habitat, conducting research and stocking fish.
Fisheries staff will be on hand throughout the open house giving demonstrations and answering questions. There is no cost to attend. The fisheries office is at 50317 Fish Hatchery Road, just west of the city of Waterville on Ridge Road/Le Sueur County Road 14. From the east, take Paquin Street west through the city of Waterville. From the west, use Le Sueur County Road 14 or get off on Le Sueur County Road 6 from Minnesota State Highway 60. Look for the DNR sign and ponds lined by cedar trees.
For more information on the Waterville area fisheries office, visit here or call the office during regular business hours at 507-362-4223.