Department of Natural Resources
To make a group reservation please call us at 269-668-2876. Reservations are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Please make your reservations according to the schedule below:
For spring programs, reservations are taken Jan - March; for fall programs, reservations are taken Aug - Sept.
Please have the following information available when you call:
Students will tour the hatchery and learn the role fish how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources raises millions of fish every year to stock into Michigan’s lakes and streams. Students will learn how fish hatcheries help to manage and conserve aquatic natural resources for current and future generations. The guided program through the hatchery facility offers students a firsthand look at a variety of fish at different life stages. Fish species viewed on the program vary seasonally. Groups must complete this program to add on other programs.
Students will learn about invasive species and their impact on the Great Lakes. Species of focus may include: Asian Carp, Sea Lamprey, Round Goby, Zebra Mussel, Purple Loosestrife, and Mute Swan. Students will discover the influence these species have on native flora and fauna as well as how the DNR manages them throughout Michigan.
Students will learn fishing ethics, safety, casting basics, how to bait a hook and how to land a fish. Target species include Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. Group size may limit program availability. Groups are required to maintain a 1:5 chaperone to student ratio. We encourage groups to provide chaperones that can assist students with basic fishing procedures such as baiting a hook and casting.
Students will learn the history, safety, and basics of how to use a bow and arrow during this hands-on introductory archery program. This program is available on a limited basis. Group size will limit availability. Students must be in 3rd grade and above.
Students will explore the various conservation careers within the DNR and beyond in this program best suited for high school level students.
The goal of this program is to expose students to the world of macroinvertebrates. Students will have the chance to work with their hands to identify and catalog macroinvertebrates from a pond located on the property. In addition to classification of the macroinvertebrates students will learn the roles they play not only in the food chain but also in predicting water quality and how human activity can alter the types of macroinvertebrates present in aquatic habitats. This program is designed to teach to the Next Generation Science Standards, LS2.A. “Interdependent Relationships in ecosystems” and LS2.C. “Ecosystem dynamics, functioning and resilience.”
Students will take a guided nature walk on trails around the hatchery’s ponds. They will explore the history of the ponds, learn about the importance of wetlands and the threat of invasive species while having the opportunity to see a variety of plants and wildlife. Possible species include birds, frogs, snakes, turtles and more. For extended version, add ½ hour to program.
Students will learn about the invasive Sea Lamprey! They will discover the history, ecological impacts and various control methods of these invasive fish in the Great Lakes. Students will see a sea lamprey to learn how they attach themselves to fish and will also participate in a hands on activity.
Groups will not have an interpretive guide for these programs. These programs are intended for groups that would like a less-structured visit. Although groups will not have a specific time slot reserved, we require all self-guided groups to reserve a morning or afternoon slot to prevent overcrowding at the Visitor Center. Self-Guided groups will receive a packet of information to better prepare them in providing students with a memorable and educational experience at the Visitor Center. These programs do not include a tour of the hatchery.
Groups will be provided with a Self- Guided Program Packet of information including a trail map and a backpack filled with a variety of materials to aim them, including field guides, furs, and more. Stops along the route will educate students on native prairie ecosystems, the history of Wolf Lake, Wolf Lake wildlife, and invasive species. Built in activities provided include suggested information for each stop.
Groups will be given the choice of three different hike styles: wetlands, forests and Wolf Lake. Each pack contains a variety of tools from bird calls to identification books that will aid the group in learning about the different habitats in an environment.
Students will conduct water quality tests to determine the overall health of our Show Pond. Tests may include measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity and nitrate levels.