Salmon population thriving thanks to people like Kenosha's Walter Kreuser.

Salmon population thriving thanks to people like Kenosha’s Walter Kreuser

Kenosha Rearing Pond welcomed 40,000 salmon fingerlings on Wednesday

KENOSHA, Wis. — Approximately 40,000 salmon fingerings found a new home on Wednesday.

The Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association will feed the tiny fish twice a day for the next three weeks and release them into Lake Michigan.

“Three years, they come back as big Kings and lay their eggs and spawn right here in the river,” said Walter Kreuser, president of the Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association.

Three years ago, the non-profit took ownership of the rearing pond, a fixture in the community for over 50 years.

“When I became president, the DNR was like, we don’t have the funds,” Kreuser said. “We don’t want the liability. We don’t want the overhead of it. So our group took ownership basically and it’s a community pond now.”

Kenosha boasts one of the highest salmon catch rates in all of Lake Michigan. It plays a critical role in boosting the local salmon population and collecting millions of dollars in tourism for the local economy.

Every year, the community comes out to welcome the fish.

“I came here because it’s really cute to see all the little salmon,” said Elizabeth Alberts, a 12-year-old Kenosha resident. “It’s fun to see them come out and see how they interact. How they act. How they jump. How they do everything. So it’s really fun.”

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Elizabeth Alberts, Kenosha resident

For people like Kreuser, it warms his heart to see the community come out and support their mission.

“I’m an electrician,” Kreuser said. “One of the other guys is a realtor. We’re all people that work for a living. This is just a passion of all of ours.”

The nonprofit relies heavily on fundraising.

The group is giving away over 200 fishing poles at its annual Kids Fish N’ Fun event on May 18 at Anderson Park Pond.