BY CAREY EDWARDS, IRON RIVER NFH
The Iron River National Fish Hatchery (NFH) held its Fifth Annual Candlelight Trek on February 21st, 2015. Guests could walk, ski or snowshoe the nearly mile long trail by the light of luminaries. Hot chocolate, hot cider and s’more fixings were provided and served by members of the Friends of the Iron River National Fish Hatchery for event goers to enjoy by the campfire. A last minute snowfall (which included a last minute grooming) left the trail in textbook condition for the event which was perfect for walking, skiing and snowshoeing. New LED tea lights set in small plastic buckets served as luminaries and wrapped the trail in a warm glow. The weather was perfect for an evening stroll and with the clear skies; trekkers were star gazing and counting shooting stars. Over 50 event goers gathered around the fire to roast marshmallows, drink cocoa and chat about the pleasant evening. Stay tuned for more information to come on future evening events at the Iron River NFH.
BY JULIE TIMMER, PENDILLS CREEK NFH
Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery (NFH) provided a booth at the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) held at Lake Superior State University’s (LSSU) Art Center on February 22, 2015. This event was brought to the area by Sault Area Foundation for Education, Sault Area Sportsmen’s Club and Reel North LLC. The proceeds of the event will go to the Rotary Park Pond, Sault Area Sportsmen’s Club and the LSSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club. Over 21 groups and businesses had display booths at the event, including Trout Unlimited, Little Traverse Conservancy, Sault Fly Anglers, St. Mary’s Guiding Company, and the Friends of Pendills Creek Hatchery (FPCH), a non-profit organization in support of Pendills and Sullivan Creek NFH’s. This was the first time the Fly Fishing Film Tour has reached the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and it was a success. The event showcased numerous short films of fly fishing various species from all over the world, from Alaska to the Bahamas, to Iceland and Mongolia and many other places in between. The films not only included fly fishing various species around the world, but also environmental impacts to fisheries, fishery conservancy and the veteran program Project Healing Waters.
Pendills Creek NFH is located along Lake Superior, approximately 17 miles west from Brimley, Michigan. Pendills Creek NFH is a lake trout production facility and was established in 1951 to stock the Great Lakes. Lake trout are raised from eggs from Sullivan Creek NFH, and are reared for approximately 14 months, then are released into Lake Michigan. Currently, Pendills Creek is able to raise approximately 1 million lake trout each year.
Sullivan Creek NFH is 15 miles west of Brimley, located south of M-28, on US Forest Service Road 3134, which is branched off of US Forest Service Road 3131. Sullivan Creek NFH was established in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is a lake trout brood stock facility. The brood stock at Sullivan Creek are from wild parents, and are maintained to provide approximately 5-7 million eggs each year for hatcheries to continue the restoration efforts. Sullivan Creek NFH has donated retired brood stock to the Rotary Park Pond for the Sault Sportsmen’s Club’s fishing event in the past.
Pendills and Sullivan Creek NFH complex is located in the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of Interior. There are six hatcheries within our Region that play a valuable role in restoration/rehabilitation of native fish, mussels and other aquatic species around the Great Lakes.
BY NATHAN ECKERT, GENOA NFH
This winter it was once again time to give a face lift to the mussel culture operation by refurbishing used mussel cages. This time honored tradition has extended back over a decade. The cages spend a couple summers in the water and then we replace the wire screen and make any necessary repairs to the frames. This is work that the staff at the hatchery would be able to complete, but with the assistance of our friends and volunteers the work can be completed in a much more timely fashion. There were enough cages for repair this year that two cage work days were needed. In response to the need, Friends of Pool 9 and the Friends of the Upper Mississippi both stepped up with volunteers to aid in cage repair. Both repair days were well attended with at least 12 volunteers present. Over the two working days over 70 mussel cages were repaired and made ready for use this summer. The volunteers logged a total of 189 hours over the two days helping us get ready for the upcoming production season while allowing the Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH) staff to focus their time on other efforts as a whole. In exchange for their generous efforts the Genoa NFH staff treated the volunteers to a lunch of grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings’. It is our sincere hope that these cages will be fruitful and produce many mussels for stocking in local waters. History says we’ll have a strong group of volunteers ready to go next winter when the next set of cages needs repair.