On Saturday, Feb. 16, the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center will offer a day of birding, ice fishing and tours of the hatchery. This event is in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources’ Free Fishing Weekend, during which residents and out-of-state visitors can fish without a license (though all fishing regulations still apply).
The day kicks off at 10 a.m. with the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo’s winter bird walk and Great Backyard Bird Count. Guests are encouraged to dress for the weather and enjoy a 90-minute walk with staff through the grounds of the hatchery and keep track of the different species of birds. The information will be submitted to a national database, which helps scientists understand bird migration and population.
Also beginning at 10 a.m. is a guided hatchery tour. Find out what species of fish are reared at the hatchery, learn how biologists keep them healthy, and take a look at fish in various stages of the life cycle. This tour is also offered at noon.
At 11 a.m., youth ages 5-16 are invited to learn the basics of ice fishing and get a chance to try their new skills on the ice.
Participants and chaperones should dress appropriately for the weather; this program includes an indoor and an outdoor session. The outdoor session is dependent on ice conditions. All equipment and bait are provided. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. This program is also offered at 1 p.m.
The visitor center is located at 34270 County Road 652 in Mattawan. For detailed information on what there is to see and do at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center, visit www.michigan.gov/wolflakevc.
For more information or to register for the ice fishing program, contact the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center by phone at 269-668-2876 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.