The Marquette State Fish Hatchery in Chocolay Township raises about 730,000 fish every year to disperse into Michigan lakes and streams. This year, the cold winter has hurt the hatchery a little bit, but luckily their numbers or sizes haven't been hurt.
"It's prohibited early stocking. These fish are about a month older than we normally stock. We normally start stocking around the middle of March," said Jim Aho, Hatchery Biologist at the Marquette State Fish Hatchery.
Today, the hatchery is filling up two trucks with fish to send down state to Thumb Lake.
Each hatchery specializes in certain species that will be sent to lakes and rivers across the state.
"It's easier to raise fish in large lots of one species and truck them to locations, than to have a hatchery that's designated for multiple species," said Aho.
The fish that are being relocated today have grown under the supervision of the DNR since October of 2012. When they first entered the hatchery, they were still eggs and now they're on their way to lakes and streams across the state.
"Fishing season is open, trout season is open. A lot of lakes are still frozen, but as soon as the water does warm up and melt, the ice melts, you'll have some very good fishing on our trout waters, trout lakes," said Aho.
When all is said and done, the Upper Peninsula is expected to receive about 328,000 new fish into the lakes and streams. While that is a good sign, you might want to wait for the lakes to thaw out first.