see what’s happening at Oden’s Fishing Hatchery in Michigan

oden fish visitor center

visiting Michigan’s Fishing Hatchery in Alanson Michigan

Have you ever visited a fishing hatchery before?  The fish hatchery in Oden is 1 of 6 that Michigan has.  And here is something that I need to point out because it’s a little confusing. The Fish Hatchery is located in Oden.  But if you take 5 lefts from there (on the road), you end up at the visitor center, that is in Alanson.  But the are connected by a walking trail between the two.

This is a free tour that you can take and if you love to fish, love nature or just are curious on what exactly a fishing hatchery does, this is a great stop to make.

I would suggest you park at the visitor’s center and walk to the hatchery along the trail.

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No need to check into the building, just have a seat and wait for your guide. Be sure to be on time so you don’t miss the tour.

take a tour of the hatchery

Before you go, check what times tours are held and be sure to get to the hatchery (not the visitors center) a few minutes early (they start the tours on time).  Wait in the nice pavilion they have outside for the tour guide to come.  This is a walking tour and you will visit inside the buildings.  The buildings are not heated, but refreshing on a hot day.

fish hatchery

fingerling fish hatchery

You will learn about the varieties of fish, how the fish are moved between the buildings and how they get to the ponds, lakes and streams.  And you get to see the fish during the tour.  The tour  lasts 30 to 45 minutes long, depending on questions.

The Oden Fish Hatchery grow rainbow trout, steelhead and brown trout. The water temperature are perfect in the area for these type of fish.

11+ inexpensive things you can do around Petoskey Michigan

stream at hatcher

walking back to the visitors center

When the tour is done, you can walk back through the visitors center, probably more leisurely than before.  You can walk the trail and see the fish in the viewing chamber. This is handicap accessible with a ramp.  There is thick glass that you can see under the water as the fish swim around.  See if you can see all the different types of fish!

Along the walk, wee found one of the stream that was flowing pretty well.  It was just amazing how fast the water was flowing.

things we learned at the fishing hatchery

I found it interesting to know that they DNR goes out to speak to the people fishing to find what kind of fish they are catching.  They also want to know what type of fish  you were hoping to see. This is important.  The DNR relies on input from the community, so they can stock what you want and where they stock the fish.  So be sure to talk with them.

The tour guide referred to the fish as fries and fingerlings.  Those are really names (I asked), describing the growth and size o the fish.

You should not dump your bait into the water when you are done fishing.  They may not get eaten by the other fish and this could lead to invasive growth of non-natural fish in the area.

Must see historic exhibits on the Wolverine trail car. You will see how the Michigan Department of Conservatory lived on the train.

fun facts about fisheries

  • fish are called fries
  • fish are called fingerlings when they are 2-5 inches long
  • Michigan’s 6 fish hatcheries cater to fish in their area depending water temperatures
  • hatcheries are not heated
  • hatcheries are funded by fish license purchases
  • all stock fish deposited into great lakes, inland lakes to support fishing in Michigan
  • when then DNR asks for input, it helps them determine what fish people are looking for in the area and what they should stock and where
  • placing the fish into lakes is called planting
  • breeder fish breed until age 3-5 and then are retired to a stock pond
  • Thor son of Oden, does not work here. Oden was not here either
  • The Oden Fish Hatchery is located at 8258 Ayr Rd in Alanson Michigan
  • The Oden Hatchery Visitor center is located at 3377 U.S. 31 in Oden Michigan

Have you been to other Michigan fish farms?

Ever toured a fishing hatchery? That's fish farmi!? Michigan's DNR has made it easy for you to come visit offering free tours at their 6 hatcheries.

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