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Conserving the Nature of America

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.


Lake Trout

Biologist holding a juvenile lake trout
Juvenile lake trout. Photo by USFWS.

Jordan River National Fish Hatchery has a long history as a lake trout production hatchery in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The station, established in 1963, is dedicated to the restoration of this ecologically important fish species in the Great Lakes. Historically, the lake trout was the top predator in all the offshore regions of the lakes, but factors such as overfishing, invasive species and habitat alteration have greatly impacted populations. Over 1.7 million lake trout are reared annually at Jordan River for restoration programs in the Great Lakes.


Biologist holding a cisco
Cisco. Photo by USFWS.

The cisco was once the most common pelagic species of fish in the Great Lakes system and supported large commercial fisheries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to multiple factors including overfishing, invasive species introductions and habitat degradation populations were extirpated or severely impacted by the 1950’s. In 2018 Jordan River began a restoration initiative for this fish in Lake Huron with other federal, tribal, provincial and state partners.

Brook Trout

Brook trout underwater
Adult brook trout. Photo by USFWS.

A very popular program at Jordan River is the “Baby Brookies” Cooperative Project. This program produces 5,000 trophy sized brook trout for children’s fishing events across the state of Michigan. This cooperative effort with area schools, youth organizations, non-governmental organizations and volunteers offer the opportunity for area youth to become involved in the culture of this highly sought after species. Local youth assist staff with the propagation and distribution of the fish to free, cooperative-sponsored fishing events. Involved students develop a sense of responsibility for natural resources while providing a family-oriented resource for the American public.