The CFRE Atlantic Salmon Hatchery

  • LSSU student with an adult Atlantic Salmon
  • President Hanley and students with Atlantic Salmon
  • LSSU student cleaning the raceways at the CFRE hatchery
  • Students remove fish from a gill net at the CFRE Hatchery in the snow
  • ARL student workers lead tours of the hatchery facility
  • sac fry Atlantic Salmon at CFRE Hatchery
  • DNR transfer fish from hatchery
  • Atlantic Salmon seen at the CFRE Hatchery
  • CFRE hatchery tour with raceways

Our Atlantic Salmon hatchery is run by nearly a dozen student employees during the academic year and summer. This opportunity gives our students real-world experience working in a hatchery environment.

Since 1978, the Center for Freshwater Research and Education Hatchery (formerly the Aquatic Research Laboratory) has been raising and releasing Atlantic Salmon into the St. Marys River, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Cloverland Electric Cooperative (formerly Edison Sault Electric).

Exterior of Hatchery

To tour the hatchery, please call (906) 635-1949 and our student employees will be more than happy to set up a time to show you our facility.

We are located inside the Cloverland Electric Cooperative Hydroelectric Plant at the end of Salmon Run Way in Sault Sainte Marie, MI.

Roger Pistis awardHatchery Manager, Roger Greil, (right) was presented with the Annual Pistis Award for his outstanding contribution to sportfishing in 2018. Roger has managed the hatchery for nearly 30 years.

How old is my Atlantic Salmon?

If you know which fin was clipped on your fish, you can use the table below to find out!

Each year, our student employees clip the same fin on the entire year class of fish. This allows us to determine their ages when caught at later dates all over the Great Lakes.

Fish Growth
Year stockedFin clipAge in 2019
2019Right pectoral1
2018Left pelvic2
2017Left pectoral3
2016Right pelvic4
2015Right pectoral5

Note: Atlantic Salmon hatch around January 1st, so an age-1 fish in 2019 becomes an age-2 fish in January 2020.

Atlantic Salmon with clipped fin

This Atlantic Salmon was caught in 2018 with a clipped left pectoral fin. Can you determine how old it is?

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