Fish and Aquatic Conservation

National Volunteer Week!

Jim King and Cynthia Tews, both volunteers at
Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Idaho, rinsing fertilized steelhead eggs. The clean eggs will be placed into incubation trays until they hatch.
Jim King and Cynthia Tews, both volunteers at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Idaho, rinsing fertilized steelhead eggs. The clean eggs will be placed into incubation trays until they hatch.

It would be misleading to say that what volunteers do for Fish and Aquatic Conservation is immeasurable.

It's very measurable—they contributed more than 110,000 hours of service nationwide last year at many of our National Fish Hatcheries and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices. That’s equal to at least 2,500 40-hour work weeks.

Volunteers wear many hats, too, from giving guided tours to helping with grounds maintenance. They organize events; work at visitor centers; clean raceways and nets, and culture fish.

So, hats off to the many volunteers who make fisheries conservation their concern.

Volunteer   

 

Experiment and Education Project for a Gigantic Fish with Prehistoric Connections

Pete Diaz, USFWS aquatic biologist, holds paddlefish
recently released into Caddo Lake.
Photo Jorge Ribas/Nature Consevancy
Pete Diaz, USFWS aquatic biologist, holds paddlefish recently released into Caddo Lake.   Photo Jorge Ribas/Nature Consevancy

Close to 50 paddlefish were recently released into Caddo Lake on the Texas-Louisiana border and the river that forms it, Big Cypress Bayou. The paddlefish were raised at theTishomingo National Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma. They are 18 months old, 2-3 feet in length, and have a surgically-implanted radio transmitter that will allow scientists to track the movement of individual fish.

The release is an experiment that will give researchers data to consider a large-scale stocking in the future. Paddlefish can live up to 30 years and grow up to 7 feet long and weigh 200 pounds. They are among the oldest surviving fish species in North America, but are currently listed as a species of concern under the Endangered Species Act.

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Video   

Track the progress of sponsored paddlefish    

 

 



                      

 

California Drought Forces Salmon to Migrate by Truck

Upwards of 30 million salmon will be migrating towards the ocean in climate-controlled tankers over the next two and a half months. Image from Zureks on the Wikimedia Commons
Photo of salmon

On Tuesday, with help from Coleman National Fish Hatchery, hundreds of thousands of California salmon smolt began the long journey towards the ocean. However, they will not be swimming there through the state’s parched rivers and streams. Instead, wildlife officials are trucking the juvenile Chinook salmon across hundreds of miles in climate-controlled tankers.

“This is a Herculean effort between state and federal agencies to try to stave off a fisheries disaster,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries chief Stafford Lehr told The Sacramento Bee. “Our fish right now are undergoing extreme duress due to the drought.”

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Video

 

Entry Deadline Looming Put Paint and Pen to Paper  

WHO: K-12 kidsSFA_New_Logo_smallweb
WHAT:  FLW's 16th annual State-Fish Art Contest
WHERE: Worldwide
WHY: WIN!
WHEN: Deadline March 31st


Presented by FLW, the State-Fish Art Contest is open to kids in Grades K-12. Now is the last chance to create your state-fish Art and write about your favorite fish.  You have to enter to win!

The State-Fish Art Contest uses art to ignite children's imagination while teaching them about fish and fishing. Students across the United States and around the world have the opportunity to win awards, prizes and national recognition while learning about state-fish species, behaviors, aquatic habitats, and conservation. The contest is helping create future stewards for our aquatic resources.

This year's distinguished panel of judges is ready to select the 2014 winners on Earth Day.  The State-Winners and Written Word National-Winners will be announced Monday, May 5, 2014.  All 1st-Place winners will receive national recognition on the State-Fish Art website and be displayed at the EXPO. The Art National-Winners will be revealed at the State-Fish Art EXPO.

1st-Place state artists, written word winners, and their families, will be invited to attend the EXPO held in conjunction with the FLW Forrest Wood Cup bass fishing world championship on August 15-17 in Columbia, South Carolina. Attendees will enjoy the FLW Cup, special fishing and family activities throughout the weekend.  The highlight will feature the special Awards Ceremony honoring all 1st-place state and national winners with prizes, trophies and fishing gear.

Winners and their families will also have special seating at the FLW Cup weight-in.  Catch some memories at the SFA EXPO!

Educators, Homeschoolers and Parents:  Visit the State-Fish Art website at www.statefishart.org for complete details and to download the FREE Fish On! Lesson Plan OR request it on a FREE CD here.

 

South Dakota Students Take on Invasive Species for Samsung Challenge

What happens when you combine a determined teacher, concerned students, local resources like Gavin's Point National Fish Hatchery, SD, and an invasive species? You get the South Dakota winning project and top 15 finalist in the country for Samsung Mobile's "Solve for Tomorrow" contest.  

Students at Vermillion Middle School, Vermillion, SD, researched the problem of invasive Asian carp affecting endangered pallid sturgeon in the Missouri and Vermillion rivers, near their hometown. 

Fishing For Population Data video
pallid sturgeon

Road Crossing Paper looks at Flood Resiliency, Steers Fish Conservation, Transportation

Susan Wells
photo of susan wells

Fish biologist Susan Wells recently co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in FISHERIES, published by the American Fisheries Society.  The paper, titled “Flood Effects on Road-Stream Crossing Infrastructure: Economic and Ecological Benefits of Stream Simulation Designs,” appeared in the Feb. 2014 issue. The article examines what certain stream culvert designs mean for fish and people. Wells and her co-authors, which included engineers, economists and hydrologists, compared differing culvert designs in the upper White River watershed of Vermont and how they behaved during and after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. They learned that culverts designed to pass fish upstream and take on larger, natural flows survived heavy storms with uncompromised structural integrity. Moreover, an increased cost in design and construction upfront yielded substantial benefits in the future, Wells and her co-authors discovered.  The article offers direction to biologists, engineers and transportation planners to create better road crossings.

You can read the article (page 62) on the  American Fisheries Society's web site

Wells is stationed in the headquarters office of the Service in Arlington, Virginia in the Division of Fish and Aquatic Conservation.  She’s charged with overseeing the National Fish Passage Program. If you have any questions, email her at susan_wells@fws.gov . 

 

 

Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence (Group) - 2013

AADAPP Group Photo
Group Photo
Nicole Wanderlear Jim Bowker at AADAPP
Niccole Wandelear Jim Bowker
Molly Bowman at AADAPP AADAPP Dan Carty
Molly Bowman Dan Carty

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program: James Bowker, Molly Bowman, Dan Carty, Niccole Wandelear

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program (AADAPP) Research Program generates high-quality data to support fish drug approval, making safe and effective fish drugs available to Service and other fisheries professionals. AADAPP staff – James Bowker, Molly Bowman, Dan Carty, and Niccole Wandelear – are fish biologists with specialized skills and are leading experts in the country on conducting research and generating fish drug approvals in the United States.

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Happy 143 Years, Fish and Aquatic Conservation!

Brass buttons adorned U.S. Fish Commission
coats circa 1890
Brass buttons adorned U.S. Fish Commission coats circa 1890

Did you know, Fish and Aquatic Conservation originated Feb 9, 1871, as the United States Commission on Fish and Fisheries? The Commission was created by Congress with the purpose of studying and recommending solutions to a noted decline in the stocks of food fish. The Commission was renamed the Bureau of Fisheries in 1903. http://www.fws.gov/policy/029fw1.html#origins

 

Oregon Chub Proposed as First Fish to be Removed from ESA Due to Recovery


An Oregon chub swims at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon.
Credit: Rick Swart/ODFW
An Oregon chub swims at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon. Credit: Rick Swart/ODFW

February 5, 2014
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed delisting the Oregon chub from the Endangered Species Act. If finalized, it would be the first ever fish removed from the ESA due to recovery, a monumental success for the Service and the many partners who worked together to make this happen, and for all Americans concerned about the health of our nation’s wildlife.

News Release
Video
Photo Gallery

 

 

A New Method for Allocating National Fish Habitat Action Plan Project Funds

NFHAP logo

Since 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has funded cost-share projects that address the strategic priorities of Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) organized under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (Action Plan).  Beginning in January 2014, The FWS will implement a new method for allocating project funds that support on-the-ground conservation activities of the 18 existing FHPs.  For detailed information about the FWS’s new project funding method and information on how to apply for Action Plan project funding, visit the NFHAP Project Funding Allocation webpage.   

Last updated: April 9, 2014