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Paul Riemerman, Valley City Times-Record, Published August 19 2012

New manager has big plans for ND hatchery

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The new manager of the Valley City National Fish Hatchery is working to make the federal facility a recreational destination.

“I would like to see people on the property,” said Kurt Eversman, 28, who has been managing the hatchery northwest of Valley City since March. “This is federal property, and people should be able to come and enjoy it.”

Plans Eversman has for attracting people from Valley City and the surrounding area include expanding the fishing pond now restricted to people 12 and younger to people 18 and younger along with senior citizens, “people who want to catch and release or just sit under a tree.”

Eversman said he plans to replace the pond’s fishing pier with track decking, and the park benches need to be replaced. He also wants to add a simple hiking trail, plant patches of wildflowers and build an archery range.

“The (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) Service has a youth initiative to connect young people with the outdoors – off video games and get them out to nature,” he said.

Eversman has been working with Girl Scouts from an adjoining camp to construct the two-mile hiking trail, complete with bird blinds and suitable habitat.

“It will essentially be a really nice trail,” he said. “I want it to be a nice thing people in Valley City can use.”

Eversman also plans to begin an archery program. He has the bows and is seeking people to train as instructors. He also is thinking of adding a nine-hole disc golf course to the site.

“We want to connect or engage the community with what we have going on here,” he said. “We are a community resource.”

Eversman said he, his wife and two daughters plan to move to Valley City at the end of August.

“I’ve worked at fish hatcheries in five states, and I come from Ohio. The (Barnes County and Valley City) community has been real nice and supportive,” he said.