Fisheries, Midwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Our Vision

The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has played a vital role in conserving and managing fish and other aquatic resources since 1871. Today, the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Program is a critical partner with States, Tribes, other governments, other Service programs, private organizations, public institutions, and interested citizens to conserve these important resources.

The Nation's fish and other aquatic resources are among the richest and most diverse in the world. These resources have helped support the Nation's growth by providing enormous ecological, social and economic benefits. Despite efforts by the Service and others to conserve aquatic resources, a growing number are declining at alarming rates.

Loss of habitat and invasive species are the two most significant threats to the diversity of aquatic systems. One-third of the Nation's freshwater fish species are threatened or endangered, 72 percent of freshwater mussels are imperiled, and the number of threatened and endangered species has tripled in the last 20 years. Clearly, there is increasing urgency to identify and implement actions that will reverse these alarming trends before it is too late. In order to better conserve and manage fish and other aquatic resources in the face of increasing threats, the Service worked with partners to refocus its Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Program and develop a vision to Conserve America's Fisheries.

The vision of the Service and its Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Program is working with partners to restore and maintain fish and other aquatic resources at self-sustaining levels and support Federal mitigation programs for the benefit of the American public.

To achieve this vision, the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Program will work with its partners to:
   • Protect the health of aquatic habitats.
   • Restore fish and other aquatic resources.
   • Provide opportunities to enjoy the benefits of health aquatic resources.

In 2002, the Fisheries Program worked with partners to establish a Vision for the Fisheries Program to Conserve the Fisheries of America. We accomplish this vision by addressing each of the following key elements:

Partnerships and Accountability
Strengthening our partnerships with federal, state, local, and international management and conservation agencies, conservation groups, and educational organizations.

Aquatic Species Conservation and Management
Conservating aquatic species through recovery programs for threatened and endangered fish and mussel species, maintenace of fish health, restoration of native interjurisdictional species, and managment of aquatic nuisance species.

Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Management
Restoring and conserving aquatic habitats for aquatic species via the fish passage, coastal, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Programs.

Aquatic Invasive Species
Prevent and reduce the establishment and spread of aquatic invasive species.

Leadership in Science and Technology
Providing leadership in our activities.

Cooperation with Native Americans
Providing fishery assistance to Native American tribes.

Workforce Management

Maintaing a diverse and well trained staff.

Public Use
Providing for recreational fishing and public use of aquatic resources.