Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Meet the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery

Established in 1961, the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery, in Michigan, is one of 70 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery offices dedicated to restoring, recovering, enhancing and protecting the nation’s aquatic resources. Initially constructed as part of a comprehensive approach to restoring devastated populations of lake trout in the Great Lakes, the station works together with other national fish hatcheries, fish and wildlife conservation offices, sea lamprey control program and multiple tribal, state and federal partners to deliver on-the-ground restoration activities for lake trout, coaster brook trout, and coregonines in the Midwest and Northeast Regions.

The hatchery is located on 116 acres in the beautiful Jordan River Valley, approximately seven miles west of Elmira, Michigan. The station is a destination for thousands of tourists, fishermen, hunters, snowmobilers and hikers annually and is open to the public 24 hours a day year round.

Roger Gordon

Gregg Knutsen

Roger Gordon has been with the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery as Hatchery Manager for nine years. In 1988, he began his time with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a volunteer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery. Gordon’s career in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started at Michigan’s Hiawatha Forest National Fish Hatchery in 1991 as a fishery biologist. From there he moved to Iron River National Fish Hatchery in northern Wisconsin, serving again as a hatchery fisheries biologist, working with lake trout and coaster brook trout programs on the Great Lakes. In 1999, he transferred to Genoa National Fish Hatchery, Wisconsin, where he worked as the assistant hatchery manager. At Genoa a large portion of his energies were focused on developing lake sturgeon and fresh water mussel propagation programs for restoration and recovery programs. Gordon enjoys beekeeping, native plant gardening and, of course, anything to do with fish.





Denise Johnston

Gregg Knutsen

Denise Johnston has been the Assistant Hatchery Manager for the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery since August 2004. Johnston started her federal career as a co-op student at the Litchfield Wetland Management District, Minnesota, in 1984 while obtaining her B.S. in Forestry at Purdue University, Indiana. Johnston expanded her work experience at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio; Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan; Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado; and Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan, before marrying a fishery biologist and transferring into the hatchery system. Since then, she has served as a fishery biologist at the Pendills – Sullivans Creek National Fish Hatchery, Michigan, and Jordan River and as assistant manager at Iron River National Fish Hatchery before landing her current position. When away from the hatchery, Johnston enjoys spending time reading, hiking and spending time with her family.





Annette Dombrowski

Gregg Knutsen

Annette Dombrowski works as an Administrative Officer at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery. Dombrowski came to Jordan River as an Administrative Support Assistant with the Student Career Experience Program in July of 2009. As part of her job she maintains the station budget among many other administrative tasks. The role Dombrowski performs at the hatchery is forever growing and changing. She works with staff in development and execution of station events, local community outreach projects, as well as station tours. Dombrowski personal interests are her pets, family and camping in the outdoors.







Paul Haver

Gregg Knutsen

Paul Haver is a Fishery Biologist and started his career as a young adult conservation corp worker at Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery. He was hired as a fin clipper, and after a short stay moved on to three seasons with the Sea Lamprey Control program in Ludington, Michigan.  Haver then relocated to the Hammond Bay Biological Station for a year to do sea lamprey research. Haver then moved to the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery as an animal caretaker, working his way to biological technician, and then biologist. This October, Haver started his 31st year at the hatchery, during which he has been involved in the propagation and distribution of more than 93 million lake trout into the Great Lakes. Current projects include deepwater cisco gamete collection, Lake Huron cisco gamete collections and hatchery propagation trials. Haver spends his off time as a 4H shooting instructor/coach, hunting, fishing and gardening.





Wayne Talo

Gregg Knutsen

Wayne Talo got his start in fisheries volunteering at the Marquette Biological Station, Michigan, while working on his undergraduate degree at Northern Michigan University. This led to seasonal positions in sea lamprey control as a Biological Aid and, subsequently, as a Biological Technician. After graduating from Northern Michigan University in the winter of 1993 with a biology major and a chemistry minor, Talo moved to Washington State to work in a temporary position as a biological technician in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Juvenile Fish Transportation Program at the Little Goose Dam on the Lower Snake River, Idaho. This was followed by positions as a fishery biologist at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery, California, Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery, Washington, and Hagerman National Fish Hatchery, Idaho. After working for about nine years in the Pacific Region, Talo is glad to be back in the Midwest, where he has worked as a Fishery Biologist at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery for the last 13 years. Talo enjoys guitar, bicycling and rollerblading with his daughter and son and occasionally doing cabinetry work in his garage shop.




Jon Sumner

Gregg Knutsen

Jon Sumner is a Maintenance Mechanic but began his career at Jordan River National Fish Hatchery as a Student Career Experience Program student. He became a hatchery Maintenance Mechanic in January of 2011. In 2013, Sumner graduated from Kirtland Community College, Michigan, with a Level Four Industrial Maintenance Certificate with megatronics and welding. Before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sumner worked in construction for 25 years, serving 10 years as a carpentry/masonry specialist with the U.S. Army’s 1438th Engineering Detachment, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and as a volunteer firefighter. Currently, Sumner is the President of a local sportsman’s club and Director of the Post 228 American Legion Riders, Michigan. When not at the hatchery or on his farm, Sumner enjoys family time and motorcycle riding.






John Johnston

Gregg Knutsen

John Johnston is a Fishery Biologist at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery and has worked there for 18 of his 25 years with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He holds a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University, Michigan. Johnson’s career started in 1988 as a volunteer biological aid at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan. The following year Johnston was a temporary biological technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the East Lansing Field Office, assisting in Kirtland’s warbler rehabilitation. Johnston then worked a year and half as a research assistant for Michigan State University, conducting bald eagle research. Johnston also worked as a biological technician for the Marquette Sea Lamprey Control Program, Michigan, and as a fishery biologist at the Iron River National Fish Hatchery, Wisconsin. Johnston assists in the everyday care and distribution of millions of lake and brook trout as well wild gamete collection. Away from the hatchery he enjoys following his son’s sports, hunting, fishing and hiking. Johnston is also a huge Detroit Red Wings fan.




Tim Falconer

Gregg Knutsen

Tim Falconer is a Fishery Biologist at Jordan River National Fish Hatchery. After obtaining a B.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University, Michigan, in 1999, Falconer started his federal career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008.  Falconer’s career started as a seasonal biological science technician with the Ludington Sea Lamprey Control office in Ludington, Michigan, until moving into a job with the Pendill’s Creek National Fish Hatchery in 2012. Two years later, a relocation brought Falconer to work at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery as a Fisheries Biologist, where he, his wife, and two sons currently enjoy residence.








Last updated: June 8, 2020