This past weekend my boyfriend and I took a vacation to the upper northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. We had beautiful weather and most of our time was spent doing some off roading in the Jeep. During one of these excursions we came across a sign that read Jordan River National Fish Hatchery. I literally jumped in my seat and shrieked “Holy #!&@ Pull Over!!”.
What we found was totally awesome and I took a lot of pictures…
Road to the Hatchery
We took the back way to the hatchery, it was a nice drive along the Jordan River.
Overview of the facility (which is open to the public every day). Visitor’s center & Hatchery is in the red brick building. Low barn next to that is Building No. 1. The big building on the right is Building No. 2. Log cabin style structure is a picnic pavilion.
Lake Trout Ambassadors in the Visitor’s Center
The Hatchery room itself is only open when the staff are on duty. Since we got there after hours we could not go in, but I took some pictures through the door.
Hatchery Didactic Panel
Grow-Out buildings viewed from the Visitor’s Center, Building No. 1 to the left, No. 2 beyond that. No. 3 is hiding behind No. 2.
Building No 1 Didactic Panel
Building No 1 Interior
So thick with fish you can’t see the bottom!
From what I understand, and from what it looks like on Google Maps, the facility was composed mostly of outdoor raceways until a couple of years ago. This is the only one left, it looked like it was in the process of being filled.
Building No. 2, as you can see, is HUGE
Building No. 2 Didactic Panel
But I was NOT prepared for how big it felt on the inside! It was easily the size of a football field.
Larger sized Brook Trout in Building No. 2
Building No. 3 was much smaller but this panel had some interesting information… I would love to have seen the oxygenation structures it mentions, but they were in a part of the compound off limits to the general public.
Building No. 3 was empty of fish, but we got to take a look at some of the trucks they use for transportation.
I also shot some video (not the best quality- sorry) in Building No. 1 of the fish in one raceway retreating en masse as my boyfriend paced around behind me. Its a pretty awesome sight.
All in all it was a pretty crazy awesome experience, especially since we had had no idea that it was there- surprises like this are always great! Also, it appears that there are similar hatcheries all across the country, and all are (to some extent) open to the public. I would encourage you all to see if there is one near you and take the time to visit, it is a really cool experience.