Trout hatcheries in Minnesota are in disrepair, so the Department of Natural Resources is looking to Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature for money to repair them. Repairs at the state's 15 hatcheries is part of Dayton's $130-million request of the Legislature for DNR's natural resources asset preservation. The hatchery in Lanesboro needs five-million-dollars-worth of improvements so anglers can continue to enjoy having trout in streams and lakes in Minnesota. The DNR guided people on a tour of the hatchery Tuesday to explain how a five-million-dollar investment would provide the necessary repairs to keep Minnesota's waters stocked with trout.
"This is replacing windows that are leaking, this is replacing HVAC systems that aren't working, it's a sewage lagoon up at Lake Itasca State Park, it's a water system at Jay Cooke State Park, it's a fish hatchery here hatchery repairs at other hatcheries," DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said during Tuesday's tour, "So, it's all part of that $330-million deferred backlog."
The Lanesboro hatchery needs repairs to protect it from flooding, replace structures contaminated with mold, and to fix rusting steel beams. DNR officials say they've been successful in working with Governor Dayton to get funding for critical repairs.
"The governor agreed this is the year we take care of what we got," Landwehr adds, "And we put forward a $130 million bonding proposal for asset preservation. The governor put that that in his budget bill, and so that's what we've got coming into the governor's budget. $130 million for asset preservation to take care of things like hatcheries, to take care of things like state trails, to take care of sanitation buildings at state parks."
Some DNR hatcheries were constructed in the 1950s and are still operating with original equipment. Each of the hatcheries plays a unique role in providing the many species of fish across the state.