Department of Natural Resources
A fish hatchery is a facility where fish eggs are hatched and the fry (baby fish) are raised, mostly to stock lakes, streams, and ponds.
A weir is an obstruction placed across a river designed to block the passage of fish. Weirs are typically used to catch fish in order to harvest their eggs. Eggs taken at the weirs are sent to state fish hatcheries where they are raised and stocked all over Michigan.
We operate six fish hatcheries, five permanent egg-take stations and up to 40 rearing ponds. In addition to the permanent egg-take stations, we collect eggs and sperm from natural spawning runs of walleye, lake sturgeon and muskellunge.
Additionally, there are several fish ladders in Michigan which allow fish the opportunity to migrate upstream over or through a barrier. Locations can be found in Berrien Springs, Buchanan and Niles.
Schools are invited to visit the weir during the annual fish, or egg take operations to see firsthand how the DNR actively manages these world class waters. Sign up for an upcoming tour!