With grants from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the DNR transformed the Oden State Fish Hatchery on 120 acres of wetlands at Crooked Lake into an interpretive nature area to tell the story of Michigan's famed trout streams and state fisheries management important to the Great Lakes ecosystem.
The old brick hatchery building was adaptively reused as an interpretive center. Originally the hatchery stood centered on two spring ponds nestled at the base of steep slopes in a beech maple forest. A replica of the ninety-foot-long Wolverine Fish Hauling Car created from an old Pullman railroad car illustrates the fish car that once transported fish around the state for planting in lakes and streams. New hatchery buildings, runway buildings, a brood stock building, wells, water treatment facilities, and ponds have improved the efficiency of the operation. Together with the underwater viewing chamber and concrete-lined raceways now converted into a trout stream, they show fish in their natural habitat and promote stewardship.