Popular DNR fish pond at State Fair to be stocked

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — Something fishy is going on as preparations gear up for Thursday’s opening of the 2011 Minnesota State Fair.

The Department of Natural Resources plans to stock its outdoor fish ponds and indoor fish tanks Wednesday morning. Around 45 species ranging from minnows to paddlefish will be added to the exhibit.

The DNR’s live fish exhibit is one of the fair’s most popular attractions with an estimated 800,000 visitors each year.

One of the most popular fish with fairgoers has been the paddlefish, characterized by their long, paddle-like bills. Paddlefish can grow up to 200 pounds, but the largest fish in the exhibit is a lake sturgeon that exceeds 50 inches. The sturgeon is a state fair veteran and was taken legally from the St. Croix River several years ago.