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August 7, 2012

Sturgeon return to Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery show pond

WILD ROSE, Wis. -- The return of lake sturgeon to Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery's show pond after 40 years is just one of many reasons to visit the state-of-the art facility that's a backbone of Wisconsin's hatchery system. Wild Rose, along with 11 other currently operating hatchery facilities, offer a family friendly stop that will entertain and educate, state fish hatchery officials say.

Sturgeon display pond
Sturgeon being released into display pond.
WDNR Photo

"Wisconsin's state fish hatcheries are a great place for people to see fish up close and to learn more about a key tool to help keep Wisconsin's fishing great," says Al Kaas, who leads the state's propagation system. "Our hatcheries have a range of activities and exhibits, and they are a great place to visit when you're in the neighborhood."

Wisconsin has a total of 17 hatcheries, rearing stations and egg collection facilities, 14 of which are currently open. A [map showing where these facilities are located and links to web pages listing locations, hours and the kind of species and displays people will find is available on the DNR website.

Sturgeon in pond
Lake sturgeon in the Wild Rose hatchery show pond is one more reason to visit that hatchery.
WDNR Photo

Wisconsin fish hatcheries last year produced more than 7.6 million fingerling-sized and larger fish for stocking statewide (exit DNR) to provide fishing opportunities in waters with no or little natural reproduction, in urban waters and at kids' fishing events.

On Aug. 6, a little bit of history was made at Wild Rose, a facility that dates to about 1900, when five lake sturgeon were transferred from tanks in the hatchery's new coolwater building to the display pond in the hatchery's historic viewing area.

The sturgeon were hatched in spring 2010, which was the first year the newly renovated coolwater hatchery was finished and operating, a success detailed in the October 2010 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine article, "Hatchery Renovation is Coming Up Roses."

Because of fish health concerns, DNR and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection regulations and other elements, putting sturgeon in the display pond was delayed after the construction of the facility was done. "Now with testing being done, regulations followed and approvals gotten, the sturgeon have a new home to enjoy for many years and generations to come," says Randy Larson, fish propagation supervisor.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on hatcheries statewide contact: Al Kaas (608) 267-7865 on Wild Rose Hatchery contact: Randy Larson (920) 622-3527

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 07, 2012

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