Updated: 08/01/2014 10:57 PM
Created: 08/01/2014 4:40 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Spooner, Wisconsin isn't a very big town, but it's home to one of the world's largest musky hatcheries. Friday, the Governor Tommy G. Thompson State Fish Hatchery celebrated 100 years.
The former governor stopped by the hatchery to celebrate.
"Today, this fish hatchery is not only one of the best in the world, it's automated and it's getting better because of people like you," said former governor Thompson.
The hatchery was rebuilt in the mid 1990's thanks to the former governor, hence the name, but the hatchery has been around since 1914.
The Wisconsin DNR shared the hatchery's centennial with the public. More than 800 people came for minnow races, a little fishing, and tours, which helped teach folks about the muskies and walleyes they raise.
Jerry Miller is one of the many helping out with tours.
"Out in the sunshine for a little bit folks!"
It only makes sense for him to be here, because of the hatchery's 100 years, Miller has been around for half of them.
"Actually, practically my whole life. I was born about two blocks from here," he explained.
For most of his 50 years at the hatchery, Miller was the ponds supervisor, which by the looks of the ponds now, the job covers quite a bit of ground.
Today, hatchery supervisor Neal Rosenberg said with 46 ponds they have one of the largest pond complexes in the U.S. This year, they are raising 40,000 muskies and nearly 300,000 extended growth walleyes.
"What we do is we go out and collect fish eggs from the wild, incubate them, hatch them and then rear them all summer in the ponds up here, and then stock them back out in the fall," said Rosenberg.
They stock the fish in lakes across northern Wisconsin, and that's why Miller says the hatchery makes a difference.
"The hatchery... is so important for the future of fishing in northern Wisconsin. We have some of the best musky fishing waters in the world here," Miller said.
A Friends of the Hatchery group was created to help support their work. It is the first group of its kind associated with a Wisconsin hatchery.
Authorities Investigating Possible Homicide on the Fond Du Lac Reservation
Authorities are investigating the death of a 31-year-old woman in Stoney Brook Township on the Fond Du Lac Reservation. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said Monday that they believe the death was an act of violence. One suspect has been taken into custody and authorities are asking for the public's help locating a woman who may have more information.
Duluth Man Pleads Guilty to Suffocation Death of 13-month-old Daughter
A 30-year-old Duluth man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the suffocation death of his 13-month old daughter. The St. Louis County Attorney's office announced Christopher Dennis Peterson's plea in State District Court on Monday.
No Criminal Charges for Superior Officer in Controversial Arrest
Superior Police Chief Charles F. LaGesse announced Monday morning the Bayfield County District Attorney has issued his decision about the actions of Officer George Gothner during the arrest of Natasha Lancour.
Proctor Police Searching for Suspect in Armed Robbery
The Proctor Police Department is asking for the public's help in their search for the suspect from an armed robbery Sunday night. They say the suspect robbed the Proctor Milk House at gunpoint at about 10:15 p.m.
Human Remains Near Pine City Likely Part of Historic Burial Site
Human remains uncovered at a construction site near Pine City last week are most likely connected to a historic burial site. The results of the investigation into the remains were released on Monday.