Your Green Life: "Sustaining a Fishery"

By KBJR News 1

August 14, 2014 Updated Aug 14, 2014 at 8:23 AM CDT

North Shore, MN
It was moving day at the French River Hatchery earlier this week.
And like any big move, it's not an easy task.

Mark Gottwald, the Supervisor at the French River Hatchery, told me, "Well we've got about 72 73–thousand that we have to get out in the next day or two."

These juveniles are Kamloops Rainbow Trout or Loopers for short.
On top of daily bag limits and size restrictions, hatcheries are another way to sustain a fish population.

"Now, when we have a fishery that we want to sustain here and natural conditions won't sustain it that's where a hatchery comes in. We're one more tool that the fish managers use to actually maintain fisheries and protect resources out there." says Gottwald.

These fish started out as eggs about a year ago, but now they are big enough to survive in the wild. The fish are taken out of their tanks, then weighed, then put into a truck where they're transferred to a stream to be released into the wild.

Not all of these fish will make it to adulthood, some will become fish food, but hopefully the others will thrive, along with the economic impact they bring to the area.

Gottwald explained, "When you start talking sustainability, that's part of what we do. In the DNR there's two main parts of our mission; one of them is to sustain, accentuate and protect resources. The other part is to provide recreational opportunities in the state."

Tourism is a major contributor to the area's economy. A study done in 1990 by Minnesota Sea Grant found that the recreational fishing industry on the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior contributed approximately $9.74 million dollars to the state.

"It supports the restaurants, the gas stations, the charter captains, everybody that's involved in the tourist trade around here one way or another. So when you start looking at what the DNR spends to put a fisheries together, you know its pennies on the dollar that comes back to the folks in this area." says Gottwald.

In addition to recreational fishing, a study done in 2010 concerning the impact of commercial fishing on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior it's estimated that it contributes over 100 jobs and over 41–million dollars annually.

Adam Lorch