Public fish hatchery specializing in the production of warmwater fish species for the stocking of public waters. Little Grassy Fish Hatchery utilizes water from Little Grassy Lake for fish production and the site is operated by the IDNR - Division of Fisheries. The original facility began operation in 1959. Major expansion and renovation in 1979 allowed production to be increased to keep up with fish stocking demands.
Little Grassy Fish Hatchery is primarily a warm-water fish hatchery. This is due to the water source used to run the hatchery- namely, Little Grassy Lake. Although the lake temperature does reach cold temperatures in the winter, it does not remain cold for an extended period. This fact disallows for the production of cold-water species (salmon and trout).
Little Grassy hatches and rears black crappie, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, bluegill, and channel catfish each year. The main event is the production process of the channel catfish which provides a great viewing experience for visitors. ‘Prime time” for viewing the production process runs from early to mid-June. Yearling catfish in outdoor raceways are available for feeding by visitors from Memorial Day through July.
Tours are currently open to the public Monday-Friday during the visiting hours 8:00am-3:00pm. The hatchery is currently closed on weekends September-March and closed on state holidays that fall in October-February. Walk-in visitors as well as scheduled group tours are welcome. Scheduled tours can be adjusted to suit time constraints of visitors as well as age group and knowledge base of visitors.
Temperature Change – Historically, Little Grassy Fish Hatchery hatched and reared cool water species (walleye, muskie), but now the hatchery concentrates on warm water fish.
Not for Sale – The hatchery does not sell fish to the public; however, hatchery staff may be able to assist with stocking-related inquiries.