Cost of renovating Lake Superior fish hatchery put at $7.6 million

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A consultant hired by the DNR puts the price tag for repairing a worse-for-wear Lake Superior fish hatchery at $7.6 million, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The French River Cold Water Hatchery produces two types of rainbow trout that the DNR uses to stock area streams. But the facility, which dates from 1975, has apparentlly seen better days. A fisheries supervisor told the News Tribune in January “The thing is really held together with baling wire and duct tape.”

A fact sheet from the DNR says the state has had a spawning facility at the French River site since 1919 and also produced walleye and white sucker fry there until 2007.

Anglers groups such as the Lake Superior Steelhead Association tell the News Tribune they're solidly behind the upgrade, which the DNR will analyze next spring.

The agency is also due to reconsider its overall management plan for Lake Superior fisheries next year, but an an official tells the newspaper that's a separate issue from determining the future of the hatchery.

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