Oden State Fish Hatchery
Overview: The original Oden State Fish Hatchery was established in 1921 and continued to operate until 2002. The new Oden State Fish Hatchery complex was completed in 2002 and is one of the most advanced fish culture facilities of its kind. This facility is the brown and rainbow trout broodstock station and is a major rearing facility for those two species. The facility has production buildings for rearing and broodstock, outdoor rearing facilities and a state of the art effluent treatment system. The old hatchery has been transformed into a Great Lakes watershed interpretation area, featuring the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center that includes a replica of a fish transportation railcar.
Location: 8258 South Ayr Road, Alanson, MI 49706.
Photo: Oden State Fish Hatchery - Main Hatchery Building.
Driving Directions: The new interpretive complex is right on US-31 (north side of road) just east of Conway. The railcar, old hatchery building and parking lot are visible from US 31.
The new hatchery complex is just off of US-31 a few miles northwest of Oden. To get to the hatchery complex from the Town of Oden: Take Luce Street in town to Powers Road. Turn left on Powers. Take Powers Road for about 1 mile to South Ayr Road and turn left (only way possible). Hatchery is about ½ mile on the right side. Visitor parking is in front of the main hatchery building. To get to the hatchery complex from Petoskey: Take US-31 north to North Conway Road (about 5 miles) and turn left (only way possible). Take North Conway Road to Powers Road (about 1 mile) and turn right. Take Powers Road for about 1.5 miles to South Ayr Road and turn right (only way possible). Hatchery is about ½ mile down on the right side. Visitor parking is in front of the main hatchery building.
If you would like to get driving directions to the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center, type "Oden Hatchery Visitor Center" into the map application of your choosing.
Hatchery Manager: Aaron Switzer
Hatchery Biologist: Dan Sampson
Year Opened: 1921; Major renovations in 2002.
Photo: Oden State Fish Hatchery Postcard from the 1920s.
Renovation History: The last major renovation at the old facility occurred in 1951. The old hatchery, located on US31, was closed in June 2002 and all operations moved to the new hatchery complex, ¼ mile northeast of the old facility.
Photo: Oden State Fish Hatchery as seen in the early 1940s.
The new facility was part of the capitol outlay project to upgrade Michigan's hatchery system. It includes new production buildings for rearing and broodstock, new raceways, an isolation building to allow us to monitor the disease status of species and strains from the Great Lakes drainage prior to moving them to the hatchery proper and a state-of-the-art effluent control system. The new facility cost $11,000,000 and construction was completed in 2002.
Photo: Main Hatchery Building at the Oden State Fish Hatchery.
Photo: Interior of one of the outdoor raceways at the Oden State Fish Hatchery.
Another major upgrade was the development of a Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center at the old hatchery site. The center consists of an interpretive area that boasts a replica of the Wolverine fish transport railcar at the main visitor center, extensive exhibits on watersheds and fisheries history, a watershed trail system, and a rehabilitated stream. The railcar is a historic recreation of the interior of the original railcar, a watershed interpretive area and an interactive computer with hands-on learning opportunities concerning our watersheds and other aspects of fish culture. A trout stream was constructed in the old raceway complex and shows the public how a degraded stream can be repaired. A stream section viewing chamber is located adjacent to the stream. This viewing chamber is a favorite of first time and returning visitors alike. It allow the public to see what happens underwater in a stream. The project was primarily funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust (www.glft.org) with additional funding from the Department of Natural Resources.
Photo: Oden Interpretive Area - Replica of the Wolverine railcar once used to transport fish in the early days of fisheries management.
Photo: A young visitor enjoys viewing the trout in the MFVC viewing chamber window.
Production Water: Oden State Fish Hatchery obtains rearing water from 5 wells and has the ability to reuse up to 25% of the water in the outdoor raceway complex. Average water use is approximately 3.0 million gallons per day with seasonal usage ranging between 2.0 and 4.5 million gallons per day. The water temperature of well water is a constant 47 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hatchery Staffing: The hatchery is staffed by a Hatchery Biologist, three Fisheries Technicians, a Fisheries Assistant (currently vacant), a Maintenance Mechanic and a Trades Helper (currently vacant). The Hatchery Manager, Maintenance Supervisor and Secretary all split their time among three facilities. The Visitor Center is staffed by a Park Interpreter and several seasonal staff members.
Broodstock: Oden State Fish Hatchery is the broodstock facility for brown and rainbow trout reared in State-run hatcheries. They maintains broodstock for Wild Rose, Sturgeon River and Gilchrist Creek strains of brown trout and the Eagle Lake strain of rainbow trout. Broodstock are captive fish that are maintained for the easy acquisition of eggs and sperm.
Management Role: This facility produces brown and rainbow trout for both inland and Great Lake waters.
Areas of Interest to the Public: The key areas of interest will be the new interpretive facilities and trails, the replica fish car, the show pond (one of the old hatcheries spring ponds), the broodstock building which have very large brown and rainbow trout, the production raceways and the new hatchery complex. Egg take operations take place from late September into early January. Please call ahead for the egg-take dates if you are interested in watching.
Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center Hours: Oden State Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center Grounds are open to the public 365 days. The Visitor Center hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday through Saturday) and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sundays) in the fall; closed from October 31 through April 30; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday through Saturday) and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sundays) from May 1 through Memorial Day.
|Oden State Fish Hatchery Production|
|Brown trout - Gilchrist||Adult||1,428|
|Brown Trout - Sturgeon River||Adult||700|
|Brown Trout - Sturgeon River||Yearlings||95,410|
|Brown Trout - Wild Rose||Adult||680|
|Brown Trout - Wild Rose||Yearlings||277,307|
|Rainbow Trout - Eagle Lake||Adult||2,203|
|Rainbow Trout - Eagle Lake||Fall Fingerlings||233,755|
|Rainbow Trout - Eagle Lake||Yearlings||293,876|
For detailed information of fish stocked, see the DNR's website at: michigandnr.com/fishstock/.
Fish Production, Stocking, Management and Research are supported by the Sportfish Restoration Act funding.