Walz proposes spending for repairs, upgrades to Minnesota fish hatcheries

Gov. Tim Walz visited a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fish hatchery in St. Paul on Monday to push for a $60 million investment into modernizing the state’s fish hatcheries.

Some of those facilities are more than 100 years old and have had few upgrades over the years.

“It’s this generation’s time to invest in our 15 hatcheries, to invest in the people who are the experts, to bring them here — and to make sure that this industry, and this activity and this stewardship of what makes Minnesota so unique in the land of 10,000 lakes and tens of thousands miles of river, continue to be viable,” Walz said.

The St. Paul facility where Walz and other state officials gathered Monday is Minnesota’s first fish hatchery, dating back more than 125 years. The facility’s manager, Genevieve Furtner, said some of the equipment is at least 30 years old and needs upgrades.

We have an opportunity to really make some nice, world-class hatcheries in our state system and I think the people deserve that. And we can turn our actions towards actually raising fish and managing, instead of trying to hold up broken facilities,” Furtner said.

The one-time funds also would go to repairing facilities like the trout hatchery at Crystal Springs, near Altura, which has old clay pipes that are collapsing.

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