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Posted by on Jun 23, 2009 in Big Lake Fishing, Family Fun | 9 comments

Besadny Anadromous Fishery Facility


The Besadny Fish Facility is swimming with activity!

Recently, around 14,000 muskie fry were stocked into one of the earthen ponds at the Dana Farm. About 2 million newly hatched sucker fry were also placed into the pond for the muskies to feed on. Both species of fish were hatched in jars located inside the small brown building at the Dana Farm site.

hatch frys

The DNR staff is also raising lake sturgeon again this year in the small trailer (Streamside Rearing Facility, SRF) next to the collection ponds at BAFF. They have recently made the big leap from eating brine shrimp to eating chopped blood worms. Mmmm, Yummy!! They’re growing very quickly and it won’t be too long before they are ready to be released into the Kewaunee River in an attempt to reintroduce lake sturgeon to the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan.

About the Besadny Anadromous Fishery Facility

For an everlasting educational experience, go to the Besadny Anadromous Fishery Facility because the possibilities are endless. You can explore the prairie gardens, walk the nature trails, learn about fish biology and much more. At the facility they promote education with guided tours, handouts and permanent color signage.

Designed for public observations, the facility shows what transpires during the salmon and trout spawning migrations and the egg collecting process. Since the BAFF is open to the public for viewing every day of the year during daylight hours, there are blue spray painted fish on the walkways that encourage a self guided tour. These blue painted fish lead people along the route that the fish take upon entering the facility grounds near the dam, along the bypass channel, to the underwater viewing windows, up the fish ladder to the 6 holding ponds and into the lobby area where they can watch the spawning crew work, through the large viewing windows.


The tour starts at the recycled plastic lumber deck overlooking the low head dam and ends in the lobby area in the red brick spawning building. Although the BAFF is open year round, fish are not always present; therefore, look below for general spawning migration periods. The BAFF is wheelchair accessible; there are restrooms and a water fountain in the building. Visitors may rent the small building located close to the facility for formal or informal classroom discussions or meetings.

The Besadny Anadromous Fishery Facility is located just outside of Kewaunee on CR-F at N2884 Ransom Moore Lane. To learn more about the park grounds facilities or to rent a shelter, call Kewaunee Parks and Recreation at (920) 388-0444. If you are interested in a guided tour or watching the egg collection process contact Mike Baumgartner the Besadny Facility Manager at (920) 388-1025.



About 1,500-2,000 fish come through the system each year.  The WDNR stock approximately 4.7 million trout and salmon into Lake Michigan tributaries including: the Kewaunee and Root Rivers.

WDNR Besadny Fishery Page

Compiled by Andrea Kalis of the staff


  1. Great story, and good pics to go with. I’ve been to the facility but never taken the tour. I found out a lot more reading the article! Next time I go I know what to look for. It really is a cool place.

  2. This place is incredible. Try to go during egg collection time, it’s really an amazing process to witness!

  3. I want to know more information about your facility.

  4. For more information on the facility, please contact them directly. The contact information is near the end of the article above. Thanks for your interest in the area!

  5. A friend and I got the chance to get the canoe out this last Saturday on the Kewaunee River; Our trip unexpectedly happened to take us around and about the fish hatchery. We weren’t quite sure what the facility was at first as we pulled the boat on to shore (some time after 10:00 that evening) in order to portage the dam. In the process of trekking the boat around the entire facility we found our way down to the “viewing room” that we thought was a very nice touch and was well appreciated by the two of us.

    It made a spectacular place to enjoy a short respite for two river-weary adventurers. Though we never saw any fish (from within that room) present in the turgid water, we were successfully able to entertain ourselves; a camera and a couple of flashlights pressed up against the glass gave birth to a few pretty cool, pretty surreal snapshots of deep-delving bubbles dancing and coalescing into a shimmer cloud of entropy juxtaposed by the foreboding, murky depths of the pools into which they spawned.

    * * *

    Back upon the river we were treated once again to a sight not soon forgotten. The front man enjoyed an awe-inspiring glimpse into the (illuminated) waters off the bow of the boat – absolutely teaming with trout as far as the eye could see down. A great finish to an epic ride down what was already a pleasantly scenic section of the Kewaunee River.

    * * *

    Thanks for your hard work in maintaining such a fine facility and your dedication to the preservation of the various species of fish that utilize the hatchery. Sometime soon I hope to revisit the site – ideally before midnight this time!

    Best Regards,
    Craig and Paul

    P.S. We dug the “bottle” recycling containers, as well. *8)

  6. we are interested in salmon fishing, and would like to know when the fish will be starting to run!! we would also like to view the hatchery while the fish are swimming up stream! will you be having open viewing to the public? would love to hear back, for this is my first time salmon fishing!

    thank you, Karen

  7. When do you anticipate the arrival of the Salmon? Did I miss it already?

  8. Thank you all for the great interest and excitement in our facility here. It is a great pleasure to know that so many people appreciate the fine work I put in here at the facility. Thanks again.

    Mike baumgartner

  9. One of my favorite places in NE WI. They did a really nice job designing this facility for function and visitors. On a side note, the facility ends at the bridge, but the trails keep going along the water. They are enjoyable for the more adventurous ones. Otherwise, there is a nice trail nearby that used to be an old railroad track. Very easy for those less able, but no shortage of beautiful scenery. Great spots for photography too.
    We usually make a point to stop at Bremmer Park to see the animals (plus the pheasants). The park is a great place for a picnic too. All these places can be covered by foot, but there is parking and easy access if you require or desire it.
    I forgot the best part… Its all free! Lots of great memories as far back as I can remember.

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