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Wolf Lake Visitor Center Reopens March 1


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Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials today announced the spring schedule for the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center near Kalamazoo. Beginning March 1, the visitor center's hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The center will be closed on Mondays.

"We are in the process of signing up a number of school groups who will visit the hatchery during April and May," said Wolf Lake Interpreter Shana McMillan. "Other groups and families should contact us ahead of time to get information about the availability of guided hatchery tours."

Activity at the hatchery really begins to increase with the arrival of new walleye, muskellunge, steelhead trout and northern pike eggs during the first two weeks of April, McMillan said.

"Hatching time varies by species. For example, it takes only 10 days for the northern pike, but up to 30 or 35 days for steelhead," she said.

Northern pike then are reared at the hatchery for only another 10 days before they will be stocked in various inland lakes and rearing ponds. Steelhead will stay at the hatchery for a full year where they will grow to seven to eight inches in length. Last year's steelhead, now yearlings, will be stocked this April in several rivers and streams that flow into the Great Lakes.

Wolf Lake will again offer its popular summer fishing program, when children ages 5 to 16 can take part in catch-and-release fishing every Saturday from June through August, and the center's annual Fish Festival is scheduled for July 15-16.

The Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center is located in Mattawan, at Hatchery Road and M-43, six miles west of the junction of M-43 and US-131. For information, contact Shana McMillan at (269) 668-2876.

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