Waterville area fisheries

Office address

Map of Waterville work area

50317 Fish Hatchery Road
Waterville, MN 56096-0086

Minnesota map showing Waterville location

Anglers who fish in Le Sueur, Rice, Steele, Blue Earth, Dodge, Freeborn, Mower, Faribault and Waseca counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Waterville area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Craig Soupir and a staff of six full-time and one part-time employee manage 120 fishing lakes and 107 rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as the Cannon River Chain of Lakes, Madison Lake and Washington Lake. Each is popular forLicense Dollars At Work campaign link abundant panfish, largemouth bass, walleye and northern pike.

  • Area highlights
  • Fishing license increase
  • Notices & links
  • Area staff

At work for you

A Waterville area fisheries biologist releasing fry.

A Waterville area fisheries biologist releasing fry.

  • Collecting and incubating up to 5 million northern pike eggs, hatching the eggs and holding fry to swim-up stage. Northern pike fry are stocked into Waterville Area lakes and rearing ponds and several lakes in the Windom and Hutchinson area.
  • Up to 75 percent of all muskellunge stocked in Minnesota pass through Waterville hatching and rearing operations at some life stage. Muskellunge are stocked in French Lake in the Waterville area as well as transported to lakes and rivers throughout the state.
  • Incubating 65 million walleye eggs and hatching 30 to 45 million walleye fry. Walleye of various life stages are stocked in Waterville area lakes and rearing ponds.
  • Managing and maintaining displays at seven county fairs during July and August, including the Steele County Fair which is one of the largest in the state.
  • Monitoring winter dissolved oxygen in up to 40 lakes and restocking lakes significantly impacted by winterkill using various fish species not produced at the hatchery including bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and yellow perch.
  • Developing and revising fisheries management plans for 120 lakes, 107 rivers and streams and nearly 2,000 acres of Aquatic Management Areas ranging in size from less than one acre to 300 acres covering 10 miles of shoreline on 27 lakes.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Waterville area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Waterville area fisheries staff is funded by money raised through fishing license sales. But reductions in buying power due to increasing costs for products, services and equipment have put this work and the recreational opportunities it creates at risk.

In response, the DNR is seeking a fishing license fee increase in the 2017 legislative session. The increase would raise the price of a resident annual fishing license from $22 to $25. Other fishing license types also would increase. The proposed increases should sustain existing fisheries operations until 2021.

The increase for an individual license – roughly the price of a scoop of minnows – may fill some existing vacancies but will not create any new positions. It will simply sustain existing programs and area office budgets, many of which already are reduced.

What happens with a fee increaseWhat happens without a fee increase

State lottery & legacy amendment dollars are off limits

Clean Water Land & Legacy Fund logo Enviornment and Natural Resources Trust Fund logo

State law prohibits tax dollars, including funds generated by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment and Minnesota State Lottery, from funding area fisheries offices and the core work they do. Fisheries management that creates world-class fishing here in Minnesota is a user-funded, user-benefit system.

General hunting and fishing license fees were last increased in 2012 at an amount designed to keep game and fish operations solvent for about six years. Prior to that, it had been 10 years since the last general fee increase. Periodic fee increases – one about every five years since 1970 – are how Minnesota funds routine fisheries management. Many fishing organizations traditionally have supported periodic fee increases because high-quality fishing is recreation worth paying for.

In November 2016, the Game and Fish Fund Budget Oversight Committee – a citizen group that monitors the DNR's fisheries, wildlife and enforcement revenues and expenditures – recommended that the Legislature increase fishing and hunting license fees during the 2017 legislative session.

The DNR's fisheries section has a long tradition of belt-tightening. Statewide, staff size is down about 13 percent from roughly a decade ago. Moreover, the section is holding an additional 24 vacancies, most of which will not be filled even with fee increase. This means it is common for field offices to have fewer employees and leaner budgets than they once did.


Contact our Waterville staff

Craig Soupir Area supervisor 507-362-4223, Ext. 222
Brandon Eder Assistant area supervisor 507-362-4223, Ext. 225
Andrew Scholten Fisheries specialist - hatchery 507-362-4223, Ext. 231
Skyler Wigen Fisheries specialist 507-362-4223, Ext. 224
Kip Rounds Fisheries specialist 507-362-4223, Ext. 223
Peter Muggli Fishereis technician 507-362-4223, Ext. 232
Amy Roemhildt Office administrative specialist 507-362-4223, Ext. 221
Steve Shroyer Fisheries research scientist 507-362-4223, Ext. 227
Dale Logsdon Fisheries research biologist 507-362-4223, Ext. 228