Strawberry Creek Chinook facility
Located in Door County, Strawberry Creek is Wisconsin’s primary source of Chinook salmon eggs for stocking in Lake Michigan
HoursStrawberry Creek is open to the public whenever DNR personnel are present, typically during the spring and fall. Please call for more information on visiting.
Strawberry Creek Salmon Weir video segment from Midwest Outdoors
Why we do what we do
Chinook salmon returning to Strawberry Creek from Lake Michigan has provided eggs for Wisconsin’s Great Lakes stocking program and for other state and federal stocking programs. In addition, detailed biological information regarding the spawning run has been collected at Strawberry Creek since the late 1970s. Biological data obtained each fall during the harvest provides important information on Chinook age, growth, movement, relative survival, various Chinook studies, and comparisons of different disease treatment techniques.
In the fall of 1999, the low water level in Lake Michigan prevented salmon from ascending Strawberry Creek causing most of the fish to die in the creek. During the summer of 2000, a pipeline was installed that pumps water ¾ of a mile from the Sturgeon Bay canal to the facility to increase the water flow.
No fish left behind
Salmon naturally die after spawning. After processing at egg collection facilities, the fish are not wasted after eggs are collected. Fish over 36 inches are sent to a local fertilizer company called Dramm, where the fish can be turned into liquid fertilizer. The larger the fish, the more harmful pollutants accumulate in its fatty tissues. Fish that are over 36 inches are more hazardous to consume than smaller fish.
Fish that are less than 36 inches are donated to five local food pantries.
The DNR doesn’t use all the salmon and trout eggs that they collect. Surplus eggs are sold to a bait company and the profits from sales return to the overall fish propagation.
For information on visiting Strawberry Creek or any other questions, contact Nick Legler at (920) 746-5112.
The WDNR Chinook salmon program began in the spring of 1969 when approximately 65,000 fingerlings were stocked in Strawberry Creek to boost the predator fish population and control an exploding invasive alewife population. Strawberry Creek was the first stocking and egg collection site for Chinook in Wisconsin and continues to be Wisconsin’s primary source of Chinook salmon eggs for Lake Michigan.
During the program’s initiation year, approximately 65,000 fingerlings were stocked in Strawberry Creek. Each year thereafter, an average of 200,000 fingerlings have been released at this Door County site. A fish trap or weir was constructed on Strawberry Creek and Chinook eggs have been collected from sexually mature fish that returned to the creek since the fall of 1972.
The first Chinook salmon stocking program originated at Strawberry Creek in 1969.