Serving the Kids of the Great Lakes Basin since 1995

Interpretive Programs

Fish The Hard Water!


Gather your group of friends, students, or colleagues and contact us for an ice fishing excursion on one of Northern Lower Michigan’s inland lake gems.  Programs are held when ice reaches 6” thick and include information on geology, formation, ecology and stocking history of the selected inland lake as well as ice fishing safety, fishing rules and regulations.  Materials such as equipment and bait are included in the program package.  Fishing licenses are NOT supplied for our fishing programs.  Any participant 17 years old or older is required to bring along a current fishing license and abide by Michigan’s fishing regulations.  Light refreshments provided, all audiences welcomed for this 2 hour excursion.


Forestry Stewardship Explorations


Escape your computer screens and florescent lights for some outdoor time within a Michigan forest. Participants will learn basic forest stewardship strategies, observe wildlife, and learn to identify Michigan’s common tree species while enjoying some outdoor time within a forest.  Warning:  Fresh air, sunlight and exercise will result in added health benefits and elevate moods.  Please leave cell phones behind while we enjoy a nature excursion into the woods.   Activities from Project Learning Tree are incorporated in this 1 hour program.

Winter Ice Fishing in Northern Michigan
Oden Fish Hatchery

Historic Tours of the Grounds of Oden Hatchery


We begin at the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center, on US31 in Oden, five miles east of the City of Petoskey- site of the original 1920 Oden State Fish Hatchery.  The entirely outdoor tour interprets the ‘fish that rode the rails’ on the Wolverine fish car, the reclaimed fresh water stream (once serving as ‘raceways’ to raise fish), the underwater viewing chamber, big fish pond, and one mile loop nature trail.  Learn how the 3 million dollar hatchery renovation in 2002 led to the improvements and how fish hatcheries support the industry throughout the state.  Travel through the 130 acre site of changing landscapes from lowland coniferous stands to upland hardwood.  Enjoy the wildlife viewing opportunities of this amazing wildlife sanctuary.  Access to any building will vary and depend upon available DNR staff.  Portions of this one mile loop trail are not ADA accessible, all audiences welcomed for this 1.5 hour tour.

Environmental Educational Workshops


If you are an educator in need of continuing education credits or a teacher wishing to share environmental educational curriculum with your students, call us for a customized program for your group.  We offer programs that incorporate award-winning activities from Project Learning Tree, Project W.I.L.D. (Wildlife in Learning Development), Project W.E.T. (Water Education for Teachers), MEECS Units (Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support) or Flying WILD, all about the birds.  We offer 4-6 hour certification workshops for professionals seeking certifications or CEU’s and 1-2 hour programs for teachers seeking programs for their students.  Let us design the perfect program to reach your curriculum needs.   Programs can take place indoors or outdoors.  See the Professional Development for Teachers tab on our website for further workshop options.