April 20th 10-2pm Party for the Planet –celebrate Earth Day @National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA

May 18th 8:30-12pm Kids Fishing Day Event @ Genoa NFH Youth 5-12 years old, take home 3 Rainbow Trout

June 8th 9-12pm 10th Annual Lions District 27-D2 FISHABILITY @ Genoa NFH. Open to any youth with a disability K-12 Register call Pat 608-279-2417

June 22nd 10-2pm 100th Anniversary Celebration Open House @ Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge La Crosse District Visitor Center

July 13th 10-2pm Youth Outdoor Fest @Pettibone Park

Please follow us on Facebook and check out our website for more details. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Erica Rasmussen (608)689-2605 or erica_rasmussen@fws.gov

Kids Ice Fishing Day for 2024 cancelled

Who knew we would be hoping for colder weather here in Wisconsin this time of the year, but due to unseasonably warm temperatures and an unfavorable forecast, Genoa National Fish Hatchery is reluctantly cancelling the Kids Ice Fishing Day for 2024. Please follow our FB Page for news and information on the other great events here at the hatchery

Thank you for your support!

Erica Rasmussen 

Environmental Education Specialist

Genoa National Fish Hatchery

S5631 State Hwy 35

Genoa WI, 54632





postponing the Annual Kids Ice Fishing Day.

Due to unseasonably warm temperatures and deteriorating ice conditions on the hatchery pond, Genoa National Fish Hatchery is reluctantly postponing the Annual Kids Ice Fishing Day. This event, which was schedule for this Saturday February 3rd, will be moved to Saturday February 24th from 8:30am to 12pm. Please follow our FB Page for news and information about this great event.

Please let me know if you are available to help on Feb. 24th

Thank you, 

Erica Rasmussen 
Environmental Education Specialist
Genoa National Fish Hatchery
S5631 State Hwy 35
Genoa WI, 54632

New Project Leader @ Genoa NFH


Please welcome our new Project Leader, Craig Bockholt, to the Genoa National Fish Hatchery! Craig is originally from the Midwest, born and raised in Northwest Iowa. Craig started his career with the USFWS after serving 4 years with the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent the early part of his career at Gavins Point NFH in Yankton, South Dakota. Then in 2016 he accepted the Project Leader position at White Sulphur Springs NFH in West Virginia.
Now he is coming back to the Midwest as the Project Leader at the GNFH! Craig has over 20 years of experience in the National Fish Hatchery system working with freshwater mussels, warm, cool and cold fish species propagation and broodstock management. When not working Craig is an avid outdoorsman and especially enjoys pheasant hunting, archery hunting, and fishing for catfish and walleye. We are very excited to welcome Craig to the GNFH staff!
By: Erica Rasmussen

Welcome Tyler to Genoa!

We’re excited to welcome a new mussel biologist to the hatchery. Tyler Weber joins us from USGS where he’s been raising fish and mussels for research at the Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center and is rejoining the hatchery staff after working with us during college. Tyler started at the hatchery in October, and has been working hard from day one, learning, caring for our fish, mussels and dragonflies and helping get ready for winter. He enjoys spending time outdoors, hunting and traveling. We’re looking forward to everything he will contribute to freshwater mussel and fish conservation, and how he develops in his conservation career. By: Megan Bradley

Tyler  sorting mussels into a tray. Photo credit: USFWS.

Fathead Minnow harvest

Our largest pond on station is a 33-acre pond used for rearing fathead minnows. During the summer months clover minnow traps are place around the pond to capture minnows. These minnows are released into other ponds on station containing other species such as Walleye, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, and Yellow Perch allowing these fish to grow and later be stocked. This minnow pond allows the hatchery to maintain a cost effective and clean supply of minnows to use as a food source to raise other species. Juvenile piscivores on station love fathead minnows as a food source due to their lack of spines and small size. As winter approaches this pond is drained and a specialized seine is used to collect the fish and put them on trucks to be moved around the hatchery. Once minnows are on the truck they are stocked to overwinter ponds and brought into buildings to be sorted. Once in the building these minnows will be hand sorted, removing any other species and the adults will be set aside for the following year. These adult broodstock minnows will be released back into the 33-acre pond in the spring to begin the cycle again. If you’re interested in sorting minnows, please feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator Erica Rasmussen at (608) 689-2605.
By: Jadon Motquin

Genoa staff collect Fathead minnows to be put onto trucks and transported around the hatchery. Photo: USFWS.

2023 cohort of Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly leaves GNFH, arrival of 2024 cohort.


In early November, Genoa NFH staff were busy collecting and checking Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly larvae that had spent the 2023 growing season in culture at the Hatchery. These larvae had been collected as eggs in late summer 2022 by research partners with the University of South Dakota, and had been transferred as eggs to Genoa NFH last November. This cohort was the first group from the Lower Des Plaines River (IL) population to be cultured at Genoa NFH; previous cohorts of Hine’s Emeralds had been collected from a population in Northern Wisconsin. The population in the Des Plaines River area is smaller though more genetically diverse than the Northern Wisconsin population, this coupled with increased threats from urban development (the Chicago metro area) makes augmentation and conservation of the Des Plaines population a high priority for this project.

Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly larvae collected from its culture cage at the end of the growing season and placed in a culture cup for transport. Larvae from Genoa NFH will over winter at the University of South Dakota in Dr. Dan Soluk’s research lab..

This year’s cohort at Genoa NFH had 43.5% survival from the egg stage to the end of the growing season, or 241 individuals. They were transported to USD for over wintering, and when they are ready to emerge as adults, will be released into the habitats along the Des Plaines River to augment that population. As these larger larvae were leaving Genoa NFH, the next cohort was arriving—Lower Des Plaines River population eggs that had been collected in late summer 2023 to over winter at the Hatchery. Drought conditions last summer limited the number of ovipositing females that could be collected, so the 2024 cohort is going to be a smaller group than previous years. These eggs will be held at a steady 3-4°C all winter, until warming in the spring begins the hatching process and the cycle continues.

By: Beth Glidewell

Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly eggs housed at Genoa NFH. Individual Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly larvae packed for transport. Photo credit: Beth Glidewell/USFWS.







Waterfowl Observation Day

Saturday, November 11, 2023, 10am -2pm

Come join the Friends of the Upper Mississippi (FUM), Friends of the Refuge –Mississippi River Pools 7 & 8 (FOR78) and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge to celebrate the fall migration!

Spotting scopes and bird identification guides will be available for visitors to enjoy. Refuge staff, and members of FUM and FOR78 will assist with bird ID and related questions. Please dress for chilly weather!

Light refreshments will be available while supplies last, during this event only. All donations for refreshments will benefit FUM. Members of FUM and FOR78 will have wildlife-themed items available for purchase.

The Brownsville Overlook is one of the best places along the river to view hundreds of tundra swans, ducks, pelicans and bald eagles. The overlook is located about three miles south of Brownsville, MN along MN Highway 26.

At the Brownsville Overlook near Brownsville, MN


Ready, Set, Lets Tag!!! Volunteers Welcome!!!

This year Genoa National Fish Hatchery staff collected lake sturgeon eggs from the Wolf, Wisconsin, Rainy, St. Clair and St. Lawrence Rivers. Throughout the summer hatchery biologists, pathways students and youth conservation corp. enrollees have their hands full feeding and caring for lake sturgeon. As the summer season comes to an end and fall begins, these fish are ready to be tagged before being released to their stocking locations. Lake sturgeon are coded wire tagged, which gives them a batch identification number, allowing resource managers to assess future population growth and survival. Thank you to all of our volunteers we tagged over 40,000 lake sturgeon this year. Hatchery staff rely heavily on volunteers and partnerships to assist with individually tagging. Volunteers play a vital role in supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission: working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. When these fish are tagged, they are ready for transport to many locations from Northern Minnesota to Southern Tennessee and west to South Dakota and east as far as New York in support of continued restoration efforts.
Although our sturgeon have been all tagged, there is still time to volunteer! If interested in volunteering contact Erica Rasmussen erica_rasmussen@fws.gov (608)689-2605. We will be tagging our Coaster Brook Trout in October.  By: Orey Eckes

Volunteers helping tag Lake Sturgeon. Photo credit: Erica Rasmussen/USFWS.