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School programs

Programs at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center

School groups are invited to take advantage of our guided tours, which last approximately two hours. Groups are divided into two to three smaller groups to rotate through the archery and pellet range, the exhibits inside the center and a guided nature hike (weather permitting).

Thanksgiving turkey program

Interpreter Ed Shaw will visit local schools at no charge. Students will learn about the wild turkey, including history, ecology and physiology. Afterward, we'll use plastic cups to make fun turkey calls for the students to take home! All materials are provided. This program is appropriate for grades K-5. 

Tours of the Platte River State Fish Hatchery

Free weir tours in mid-October offered by Carl T. Johnson staff. Fish hatcheries and weirs play an important role in helping keep Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams one of the greatest freshwater fisheries in the world. Students will experience firsthand how the DNR collects eggs and raises fish. The program ties in history, ecology, biology and stewardship. The weir, part of the Platte River State Fish Hatchery, is located in Beulah in Benzie County. After a brief overview, school groups will be rotated through the stations and spend a few minutes at each station. DNR staff conducting the egg take will take a few moments with each group to explain what they are doing. This tour is typically available during the third week of October.

Tours of the Boardman Weir

Free weir tours, led by Carl T. Johnson staff, are offered from early September to mid-October. Schools are invited to visit the weir during the annual fish take to see firsthand how the DNR actively manages these world-class waters. Students will experience the sights, sounds and smells of the amazing process in which thousands of fish swim upriver into the weir. School programs will encompass history, ecology, biology and natural resource stewardship.

Teachers, please call the center in advance to schedule any of these programs at 231-779-1321 or email