Ready to walk the walk and hear the talk? Bring your snowshoes, nimble fingers, birding binocs and plenty of curiosity as The Department of Natural Resources’ Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center gears up to offer a variety of programs in February, including snowshoe walks, ice fishing, fly tying and a bird walk to learn about birds that stay in Michigan throughout the season.
The hatchery also offers guided tours, where visitors can get an up-close look at the fish and learn how biologists raise millions of fish every year to stock Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams.
- Fly Tying 101: Meet the Woolybugger Saturday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. No, this isn’t a derogatory term for someone you don’t like. It’s the name of one of the most productive fishing flies ever created. You can learn the basics of tying this and other flies. All practice materials are provided. Class size is limited for each session. Pre-registration is required. This program is recommended for those age 8 and older. Sessions will last approximately two hours.
- Just Add Snow! Snowshoe Walks Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. And, hopefully, there will be enough! Join the center staff to enjoy the beautiful winter season! Learn how to use snowshoes and then take a walk while discovering the fascinating world of winter ecology. Pre-registration is required for those borrowing snowshoes from the Visitor Center. Programs will last approximately 90 minutes. Programs are dependent upon snow conditions and are subject to cancellation. This program is appropriate for those ages 5 and older.
- Youth Ice Fishing 101 Saturday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Youth ages 3-16 are invited to learn the basics of ice fishing on the hatchery ponds. All equipment is provided. This program is being held to celebrate Free Fishing Weekend. Outside portion of the program is weather-dependent.
- Winter Bird Walk and Great Backyard Bird Count Saturday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. The Audubon Society of Kalamazoo will lead this winter bird walk where participants will discover the many birds that stay in Michigan throughout the winter season. The program is part of the Great Backyard Bird Count and will last approximately 90 minutes.
- Hatchery tours Saturday, Feb. 7 and 14 at noon. Find out how the DNR raises millions of fish every year to stock Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams. Tours last approximately 30 minutes.
- Hot cocoa, tea and coffee will be available for program participants before and after these programs.
The visitor center is usually closed in December, January, February and March, except for special programs. It will reopen to the public on a regular basis for the spring season in early April, 2015.
To register for a program, contact the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center by phone at 269-668-2876 or email email@example.com.
Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center is located at 34270 County Road 652 in Mattawan, Michigan. DNR visitor centers are located throughout the state. Centers feature nature exhibits and are staffed with full-time educators who manage nature programs for individuals, families and school groups. Learn more about each location at www.michigan.gov/dnrvisitorcenters.