Fish and Aquatic Conservation

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Law of Nature

The Endangered Species Act and Forty Years of Fisheries Conservation
By Ben Ikenson

Apache trout are on the rebound in eastern Arizona, thanks to the work of the Arizona Fish and
Apache trout are on the rebound in eastern Arizona, thanks to the work of the Arizona Fish and

Previous generations of White Mountain Apache believed that to eat the brilliant gold fish flecked with black spots that was once so abundant in their streams was to risk getting spots on their faces. While the fish played no role in its traditional diet, the tribe in a prescient act was compelled to start protecting it in the 1940s. White settlers who fished for the trout had decimated its population; streams were subsequently stocked with non-native trout, which further displaced the native fish. By the late 1960s, its range had been reduced from some six hundred miles of mountain streams in southeastern Arizona to less than 40. In 1973, the Apache trout became the first fish listed as an endangered species.

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Not all those who Wander are Lost

RVers volunteer for conservation
By Craig Springer

RV'ers focus in on sites off the beaten path. They provide invaluable volunteer services for
RV'ers focus in on sites off the beaten path. They provide invaluable volunteer services for

Those steeped in the RV lifestyle have a perspective all their own. Some make a life in an RV, while others go at it part-time. According to Camping World, an estimated 200,000 Americans are full­-time RVers today. Many of them are getting away from suburbs, taking to the road and traveling the country. For a select few, they are making their mark in conservation, volunteering at one of 70 facilities in the National Fish Hatchery System.

The RVer-volunteer workers spend anywhere from a few days to several months out of the year volunteering their time and skills to help run the hatcheries. In return, they are provided with a space to park their RV, as well as septic, water and electricity hook­-ups.

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A small staff of scientists in Bozeman, Montana, are doing big things for conservation and commerce. The Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership moves fish drugs from the theoretical to the practical. Here's a snapshot, by the numbers.

AADAP inforgraphic



President Hoover and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

For eight years through the 1920s Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover, oversaw the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (it became the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1940). A fitting charge perhaps, for a man obsessed with angling since childhood.

Hoover never lost interest in fishing, often escaping the stress of the presidency wading the Rapidan River in northern Virginia. In the last year of his life he published Fishing for Fun--and to Wash Your Soul. Given his ardent interest, it's no surprise to see archival images of him on the shores of Pyramid Lake in Nevada, fishing for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. 

It's pure speculation, but once senses that he would take great satisfaction in the conservation successes achieved by the Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex in bringing a fish back from near extinction.


New reefs will aid ancient species

Sturgeon, other fish, expected to use spawning habitat

Workers are going to place rocks in the St. Clair River this week to build a reef to provide habitat for spawning fish.

The reef being constructed near East China Township is one of two planned for the river this year. The $3.5 million construction project is an effort to restore the populations of lake sturgeon, walleye and lake whitefish.


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Last updated: August 18, 2014