My turn: Raising fish no easy feat

Rock Lake State Fish Hatchery in Santa Rosa offers tours for people who want to know what it takes to grow fish in area lakes said Leonard Rice, Rock Lake Hatchery manager.

The hatchery has been around since 1968. It was renovated a few years ago from a cold water fishery to a warm-water facility. Rise said summer production of fish is geared for planting statewide and winter hatchlings are planted in the southeast part of the state.

“We grow rainbow trout, bass, catfish, some tiger muskie and walleye,” Rice said. “Our trout that we stock comes to the lakes or pond about nine to 12 inches…catfish are a little larger.”

Rice said a lot of care goes into the raising the fish that arrive at the hatchery three inches long and leave for stocking lakes at nine inches or more.

“Some of the hatcheries actually have too many eggs to hatch so we take them on sometimes to raise,” Rice said. “It is very labor intensive because everything has to be cleaned once a week and fed every other day.”

Information: 472-3690 to set school tours.