The National Trout Center (NTC) in Preston hired two part-time employees for the upcoming season. Kelsey Hoffmann will serve as program director and Annie Lewis will assist with office duties and communications.

Hoffman is finishing her graduate studies in conservation biology at Winona State University (WSU). She brings a wealth of experience in stream ecology and fisheries management. Hoffman will be developing classes for the public to learn about trout, their behavior and habitats, fishing and conservation. 

“If you haven’t been to the National Trout Center, I encourage you to stop by for a free tour or just come in and find out about fishing and stream conditions,” she said. “This is a great resource for anyone who loves the outdoors, especially fishing. My role involves finding out what classes and exhibits area residents would like to see at the NTC. Our goal is to make this a welcoming place for people of all ages and fishing interests.”

Lewis has an extensive background with nonprofits, education and fundraising. Her role at the NTC includes working with the volunteer board of directors to help increase the awareness of the center and make it the “go-to-place” for all things trout!

She grew up in Winona, is a WSU graduate, lives in Mabel and enjoys trout fishing. “When I heard about the position, I knew it would be a good fit for me,” Lewis said. “Whether you have an interest in trout or not, the NTC offers the opportunity to learn about the natural beauty of our area and how to conserve it for generations to come. I encourage everyone to visit during our “Opener” House on April 15. The trout may bite, but we don’t!”

The NTC’s “Opener” House is Saturday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with trout chowder, trout cookies and door prizes. All new members will receive a free T-shirt or trout stream map.

The NTC is located at 120 Saint Anthony Street South in downtown Preston, and is open to the public April 14 through Labor Day; on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The Center includes exhibits on trout and stream ecology, a live trout aquarium, information on local stream and fishing conditions, printed maps, books and merchandise.

The NTC is a nonprofit organization that works to conserve natural and cultural heritage of trout and their cold water environments by engaging the public through education, practice and awareness.

For more information, visit the NTC website at NationalTroutCenter.org or call 507-765-2452.