The hatchery is located in downtown Guttenberg at 331 South River Park Drive and has produced northern pike fry for the Iowa DNR since 1974. Prior to that, the hatchery was owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which operated the hatchery but they lost interest due to constant flooding of outdoor hatchery ponds. Each spring, after ice out, staff at Guttenberg and other DNR stations in Eastern Iowa net Northern Pike from local backwater lakes. Hatchery operations typically start around March 15 and all fry are typically shipped out of the Guttenberg hatchery by April 15. The hatchery is staffed with two permanent personnel: Karen Osterkamp who is the station biologist and Kevin Hanson who is a fisheries technician. Once the hatchery operations is over staff return to the normal fisheries management activities for Pools 9, 10 and 11 of the Upper Mississippi River and operate the Guttenberg Aquariums on site.
Station Activities during the spawning season include:
- Setting and retrieving nets in backwater lakes of Pool 10 and Pool 11.
- Measuring weighing and tagging of northern pike collected.
- Spawning, incubating and hatching of northern pike eggs.
- Daily cleaning and siphoning off dead eggs.
- Boxing and shipping hatched fry to receiving waters or other fish hatcheries.
- Building, net, grounds and equipment maintenance.
- Hatchery water quality testing.
- Guided tours, presentations and education science classes.