Brule Fish Hatchery to stay openThe DNR may be taking an about face on closing fish hatcheries. This week they notified the Brule Fish Hatchery that it will stay open. Mike Simonson reports.
By: By Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The DNR may be taking an about face on closing fish hatcheries. This week they notified the Brule Fish Hatchery that it will stay open. Mike Simonson reports.
This comes in spite of a recommendation from a consultant to close it, a real blow to the Brule community.
There are no water slides or roller coasters in Brule. And that’s the way Chloe Manz likes it. She runs a small resort called Brule River Classics where fly fisherman and kayakers stay. She says the Brule Fish Hatchery is the main event there.
“It’s an attraction that children can see and wives can walk to or bike to if they’re not on the river fishing. It’s just a real attraction,” she said.
Now, the DNR has said it will keep the 1927 vintage hatchery open. The news surprises State Representative Nick Milroy of South Range.
“The game-changer was when our regional DNR manager brought the secretary (Cathy Stepp) and the executive assistant up to the facility and realized how historically important it was and how maintained it was and that we could continue operations without any major investment.”
Milroy says the consultant report called for major upgrades or closing of some state fish hatcheries.
“That report was kind of a Utopian kind of report where every hatchery would need millions of dollars of upgrades to meet the challenges of preventing any sort of disease or invasive species from entering systems. It’s just not realistic in today’s economy to be able to upgrade all of those facilities.”
Even so, Milroy says the state fisheries program still faces a $3 million deficit and needs to find places to cut or make operations more efficient.