Pike River Fish Hatchery

The Pike River Fish Hatchery on Lake Vermilion offers a fascinating look at how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources keeps our lakes stocked with thriving walleye.

Each spring a small portion of the Lake Vermilion walleye make their way up the Pike River to spawn. Spawning usually begins in April, when the water temperature approaches 45 degrees, and lasts for approximately two weeks. Workers at the Pike River Hatchery collect and combine eggs and milk from the walleye. Each season approximately 100 million eggs are taken, and about 75 million fertilized eggs are hatched into walleye fry.

Fry hatch from the eggs in three weeks. Approximately 15 million fry are released into Lake Vermilion each spring – the remainder of the Pike River Hatchery fry are stocked into other lakes in Minnesota.

Morning is the best time to observe the activities of the hatchery from an observation platform. Group tours require a reservation. For more information call (218) 753-5692 or (218) 365-7280.

Directions: Travel on Hwy. 53 north of Virginia approximately four miles. Take a right on Highway 169 heading east toward Tower to County (State Aid) Road 77. Turn left on C.R. 77 (across from Y Store) heading north. Go a half-mile to Pike River. The Pike River dam will be on the left. Entrance to the Pike River Fish Hatchery will be on the right hand side, 200 yards past the dam on Angus Road.

Area Fish & Wildlife Office
1429 Grant Momahan Blvd.
Ely, MN