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.
DNR Talks Safety After Hunter Attacked By Bear, More Details Released
Family members said a hunter is undergoing a second surgery after a bear attack in Pine County. Brandon Johnson is from North Branch and was attacked by a wounded bear early Saturday morning. DNR officials and hunting guides said tracking a wounded bear alone is not recommended.
MSHSL to Vote on Policy Changes for Transgender Athletes
It's in reference to a proposed Minnesota State High School League policy that's scheduled to be voted on this week. The policy would allow transgender high school athletes to play in sports based on their gender identity, not their gender at birth.
Domestic Violence Deaths Reach 77 in Minnesota, Wisconsin for 2013
Domestic violence resulted in 77 deaths in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2013. A group called End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin released the latest numbers for Wisconsin on Monday. Advocates in the Twin Ports say the important thing is to work toward fewer deaths in 2014.
Level III Sex Offender Moving to Rural Duluth
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says a sex offender is moving to a rural Duluth neighborhood next month.
Fire at Lincoln Park Apartment Building Under Investigation
Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out at an apartment building on 18th Avenue West near Superior Street on Monday. The fire caused $30,000 in damages.