Hometown Farmer: Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery

It's a busy time of the year in Spirit Lake, Iowa.Workers at the fish hatchery are literally squeezing out the next generation of fish.And Donna Muhm, the hatchery manager, has been doing this for 15 years now. She says winter kept hanging on this year, making it hard to get started."The ice on the main lakes wasn't even out yet when we start to go get the Northern Pike," said Muhm.The hatchery also catches and works with big Muskies, but right now it's the Walleye's turn.Workers are squirting the eggs out of the female fish, trying to get about 1,000 quarts total, with 150,000 eggs per quart."That's about 100 million eggs," said Muhm.Afterwards, those females are released back to where they were caught.The eggs are mixed with milk from the males and before you know it, you've got little fish swimming around.They'll eventually get stocked into Iowa's lakes and streams.This work is constant at the hatchery every spring, and this year, it won't end for about another month."We still have to be here on weekends and holidays," said Muhm. "Because the fish don't care what day it is."A little squeeze, hopefully giving a big boost to Iowa's fish population.If you know of any farmers or agriculture professionals you think would be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: