Three miles south of the small village of Genoa, Wisconsin straddling either side of the Great River Road Scenic Byway, otherwise known as Wisconsin State Highway 35, sits the Genoa National Fish Hatchery. Founded in 1932, the hatchery has played a major role in restoring a variety of aquatic species from imperiled mussels, to lake sturgeon and even the rare Hine’s emerald dragonfly. They’ve also been focused on educating people about the value of the Mississippi River, which flows just west of the hatchery. No Genoa National Fish Hatchery is opening the doors of its new home to help visitors learn more about the importance of the river and the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Great River Road Interpretive Center’s grand opening is scheduled for June 1 at 10:00 a.m. at Genoa National Fish Hatchery. The project has been almost five years in the making and began in August 2013 with a groundbreaking ceremony on hatchery grounds. The center focuses on the history and natural resources of the Upper Mississippi River, highlighting education of aquatic wildlife and the Battle of Bad Axe, the final battle of the Black Hawk War fought in 1832, which occurred just south of the hatchery.
The project is unique in that it was partially funded by a National Scenic Byways grant, which makes Genoa the first national fish hatchery to be awarded Department of Transportation, Federal Highway National Scenic Byways funds. Annually, Genoa National Fish Hatchery hosts approximately 14,000 visitors and is open year round. It is one of six national fish hatcheries in the Midwest. Why not add Genoa National Fish Hatchery and the Great River Road Interpretive Center or one of our other national fish hatcheries to your list of places to visit on this summer’s family vacation?
BY MONICA BLASER, REGIONAL OFFICE – EXTERNAL AFFAIRS