Lake Michigan trout and salmon are soon to start their spawning runs, offering “fintastict” opportunities to see first-hand how state fish crews give nature a hand in helping produce the next generation of fighters to test anglers on the big pond.
The eggs are collected at three facilities open to the public whenever Department of Natural Resources staff are processing fish, and two of the facilities along Lake Michigan have open houses in October for people to see egg-collecting demonstrations, to learn or tune up their casting and knot-tying skills, and to enjoy other free fun. Brief listings of those two events are below, with more details on each available on an open house page of the DNR website.
- On Oct. 6, The C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility located along the Kewaunee River in Kewaunee County offers food, fish and fun at their annual open house, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
- On Oct. 13, the Root River Steelhead Facility located along the Root River in Racine, also holds its open house event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include guided tours of the facility, hands-on demonstrations of fish spawning procedures by fisheries staff, fishing rod casting lessons, knot tying, and fly-tying.
The third egg collection facility, Strawberry Creek Weir outside Sturgeon Bay, does not have an open house per se but all three facilities are open to the public during times when DNR crews are processing fish.
Egg-collecting is expected to begin at Strawberry Creek on Oct. 1, with DNR turning on pumps to supplement water flow there to help the fish reach the weir where DNR crews collect their eggs.
The vast majority of fish populations in Wisconsin are naturally self-sustaining, but Lake Michigan chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout are not self-sustaining in Wisconsin although Michigan streams are producing larger numbers of wild fish.