National Fish Hatchery SystemThe Mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior. Our mission is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The Service’s Fisheries Program has played a vital role in conserving America’s fishery resources for over 130 years, and today is a key partner with States, Tribes, Federal agencies, other Service programs, and private interests in a larger effort to conserve fish and other aquatic resources. Established in 1871 by Congress through the creation of a U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, the National Fish Hatchery System original purpose was to provide additional domestic food fish to replace declining native fish. Cultured fish were used to replace fish that were lost from natural (drought, flood, habitat destruction) or human (over-harvest, pollution, habitat loss due to development and dam construction) influences, to establish fish populations to meet specific management needs, and to provide for the creation of new and expanded recreational fisheries opportunities.
The NFHS has a unique responsibility in helping to recover species listed under the Endangered Species Act, restoring native aquatic populations, mitigating for fisheries lost as a result of federal water projects, and providing fish to benefit Tribes and National Wildlife Refuges. The NFHS works closely with other Service biologists and with the States, Tribes, and the private sector to complement habitat restoration and other resource management strategies for maintaining healthy ecosystems that support healthy fisheries.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- The role of the National Fish Hatchery System has changed and diversified greatly over the past 30 years as increasing demands are placed upon aquatic systems. In recent years, the Service has maximized the output of its work force by integrating the work of fish hatcheries and fisheries management. This integrated effort has resulted in cohesive, more efficient national restoration programs, such as those for Great Lakes lake trout, Atlantic Coast striped bass, Atlantic salmon, and Pacific salmon. The Service continues to work with its stakeholders -- Federal agencies, State resource agencies, Tribal governments, and private organizations-- to improve fishery conservation efforts.
The Fisheries Program consists of 70 National Fish Hatcheries, 7 Fish Technology Centers, 9 Fish Health Centers and 1 Historic National Fish Hatchery and the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership program.
Access a list of facilities (names, addresses, phone numbers) within the National Fish Hatchery System.
Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery on the banks of the Missouri River.
Where: Yankton, South Dakota
When: Established 1956
Gavins Point was established to provide mitigation for the Upper Missouri River Development Plan, a series of hydroelectric power dams on the Missouri River.
Gavins Point evolved into a cold, cool and warmwater production and broodstock hatchery. Every year the hatchery produces 8 to 10 species of fish for recovery, restoration, mitigation, recreation, research and tribal fisheries. Since 1961 the hatchery has produced more than 5 billion fish, stocked in the Midwest. Today, emphasis is on the recovery of endangered pallid sturgeon. The hatchery holds a captive broodstock, spawns wild fish on station and produces fish that are released into the Missouri River and its tributaries.
Paddlefish, walleye, yellow perch, bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and rainbow trout are some of the species raised at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery.
On the web: www.fws.gov/gavinspoint. -- F Jeffery Powell
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