Fish and Flutters at Jordan River NFH
BY ROGER GORDON, JORDAN RIVER NFH
Jordan River National Fish Hatchery (NFH) has over 50 years’ experience in producing fish for restoration purposes in the Great Lakes region. Since opening in 1963, the hatchery has provided well over 100 million young lake trout for restoration of reduced populations in lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. More recently, the hatchery has annually produced thousands of pounds of catchable size brook trout for educational and children in nature programs across the state of Michigan. This program, known as “Baby Brookies” contacts thousands of youth annually and is carried out in close cooperation with the stations Friends organization as well as a host of other cooperating organizations. But our story doesn’t have to end in the water……
Beginning in 2011, the project began creating native flowering plantings throughout the hatchery grounds in support of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pollinator initiatives. In the past several summers, student enrollees in the Youth in Conservation Corp (YCC) have created over 5000 square feet of maintained plantings comprised of over 30 different species of native plants. A major component of these plantings has been three species of milkweed specifically targeting Monarch butterfly life cycle requirements. During the fall of 2014, the hatcheries initial plantings reached full maturity and the staff was able to harvest untold thousands of seeds from many of the flowering plants. Harvest for the milkweed species alone totaled over 140,000 seeds! All these seeds, as well as additional plants and purchased seed, will be used in spring 2015 for our most ambitious plantings yet. Our staff and YCC crew will plant an additional 7,000 square feet of pollinator garden with special emphasis on Monarch butterfly and bumblebee habitat. Stay tuned for lots of flower pictures come August!
For more information about this or other programs at Jordan River National Fish Hatchery please contact hatchery manager, Roger Gordon at 231-584-2461 or email at email@example.com.