Minnesota fish hatcheries in need of improvements

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(ABC 6 News) – Governor Tim Walz recently proposed 60 million dollars in funding for Minnesota’s fish hatcheries.

The Crystal Springs Hatchery has been raising trout for over 80 years. Crystal Springs started out as a privately owned fish hatchery back in the 1930’s. Now owned and operated by the state, a facility this old needs some help.

“Improvements we are looking to see are improvements to our production building, our water flow system and affluent system and anyway we can improve our fish production and fish health and improve workability for our staff,” said Luke Jadwin the supervisor of the Crystal Springs Hatchery.

This winter at the hatchery one of the original clay pipes underground that helps water flow though the facility cracked. Having an improved facility would significantly help operations here.

This hatchery runs year-round. Luke says southeastern Minnesota is perfect for raising trout because the natural springs used by the hatchery keep a consistent temperature of 49 degrees all year.

The fish you see right here are only about 2 months old and grow into fingerling which are about a 6-month-old fish. Then into a yearling and then to full stocking size.

Monitored around the clock by Luke and his team. And feed premium food and boy do they love it.

Once they are ready, they are loaded into a stocking truck.

“Most of our fish get stocked into local waters but a lot do get stocked into northern lakes and streams,” said Luke.

The state stocks its waters with fish because of all the angling that goes on in the state, but without proper funding to keep hatcheries working efficiently Minnesota aquatic ecosystems might suffer.

“Our pipes and valves and water systems and affluent systems is still from that time. Much of it is starting to deteriorate, fall apart and so this funding from Governor Walz and the state is really critical for us at this point,” said Luke.

The legislature has to get a budget deal passed before the session ends on Monday.