Media Tip Sheet
Midwest Region

Waters

Missouri: Climate Concerns Add to Challenges Facing Sturgeon Recovery Efforts
Above-average fluctuations in rainfall, snowmelt and runoff in the lower Missouri River are complicating U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to recover endangered pallid sturgeon, one of the continent’s largest freshwater fish.

Cycle of Success: Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
There's a reason the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has been called "The Cycle of Success." Funded by excise taxes on hunting, boating and angling equipment, this program provides more than $180 million in funding to habitat restoration and wildlife research to further the hunting, shooting and angling sports.

Sea Lamprey: A Dirty Job
Imagine a two-foot-long leach with teeth that latches onto a fish with a death grip and sucks out its life. That's a sea lamprey, and crews from the United States and Canada - through a joint effort - handle these noxious pests every day in an effort to keep their populations in check.

The National Fish Hatchery System
From Genoa and Iron River National Fish Hatcheries in Wisconsin to Neosho National Fish Hatchery in southwest Missouri, the National Fish Hatchery System is a major contributor to the sustainability of angling in our Great Lakes and Big Rivers region.

Natural Resources Damage Assessment: Preparing for the future
Oil spills and environmental contaminants have presented major challenges for conservation in recent times. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment is a critical part of the Service's responsibility to ensure responsible parties are held accountable for damages caused to natural resources as a result of contamination. Talk to Service staff who lead NRDA efforts in the Midwest Region.

Mass Marking in the Great Lakes
Tag along with the traveling taggers to see how Federal and State hatcheries are working together to gather valuable data to preserve our Great lakes fisheries!

MV Baird - Stocking the Great Lakes
The M/V Spencer F. Baird is the Service's largest vessel and assists Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in stocking hatchery-raised lake trout into the Great Lakes.

Hydrokinetic Power and Wildlife
Hydrokinetic projects in major waterways, including the Mississippi River, are among the latest endeavors as the United States looks for renewable energy resources. Consisting of turbines installed on the riverbed, hydrokinetic energy has become a focus for energy producers and resource managers. As this potential energy source becomes more attractive, the Service and other resource agencies will be busy assessing impacts on fish and wildlife and other resources.

Ten Years of Success in Conservation through the State Wildlife Grant Program
The State Wildlife Grants Program provides federal dollars to every state and territory to support cost-effective conservation aimed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered. See recent examples of how the funding has support the conservation mission.

The Ozark Hellbender: Out from Under a Rock
What lurks below the clear waters of Ozark streams? Well, it's not pretty, but it is pretty cool. The Ozark hellbender, which can reach a length of about 2 feet, is one of the largest salamanders in the world.

First-Ever Internationally Funded Fish Habitat Restoration Project in the Great Lakes ongoing at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
U.S. and Canadian biologists are working together to engineer and construct a lake sturgeon spawning reef in the Detroit River. Construction is nearly completed on the project, located in Canadian waters, just off of Fighting Island, across from Detroit, Mich.
The location was selected because the area was historically known as an important spawning and nursery area for lake sturgeon. In November 2006, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey biologists captured four juvenile lake sturgeon near the southern end of the island. The historic and recent evidence of the importance of this area made it the ideal location to build the reef.

Isle Royale National Park: Coaster Brook Trout Recovery
Isle Royale National Park is one of the most remote and unique wilderness areas in the U.S. The park consists of one large island surrounded by about 400 smaller islands; it includes submerged land which extends 4.5 miles out into the largest freshwater lake in the world. Isle Royale is home to three of about a dozen populations of coaster brook trout remaining in Lake Superior.

The Fight Against Asian Carp
Asian carp, voracious eaters who can grow up to 40 or more pounds in just a few years, are out-competing desirable gamefish and damaging the Midwest's aquatic ecosystems. As Asian carp begin to encroach on the Great Lakes and threaten the largest freshwater fishery in the world, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has committed itself to keeping this invasive species at bay.

Restoring Fish and Wildlife for Future Generations: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Comprised of more than 10,000 miles of coastline and 30,000 islands, the Great Lakes provide drinking water, transportation, power and recreational opportunities to the 30 million citizens who call the Great Lakes basin "home." Unfortunately, years of environmental degradation has left the Great Lakes in need of immediate on-the-ground action to save this precious resource for generations to come. In 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was allocated approximately $65 million through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement Great Lakes Restoration Initiative priority programs involving toxic substances, invasive species and habitat restoration in the Great Lakes. Funding continues in 2011 and the Service is gearing up for another active and exciting field season.

Tundra Swans by the Thousands
From early November through about the third week in November, hundreds of people come to a newly constructed overlook near Brownsville, Minnesota, to view thousands of tundra swans, ducks and geese feed, rest and migrate through the Mississippi River Valley.

Duck's-Eye View of the Prairie Pothole Region
Follow the Regional pilot as he uses an airplane to map habitat, survey easements and estimate wildlife populations across the Midwest and the Continent.

On Standby for Oil Spills
The Gulf oil spill brought to focus just how vulnerable fish and wildlife resources are when oil or other contaminants are released into the environment. Closer to home in the Midwest, Service biologists worked tirelessly when pipeline malfunctions spilled oil into waterways in Michigan and Illinois. Find out more about how the Service's Environmental Contaminants biologists prepare for and respond to potentially disastrous releases of oil.

Tracking Emerging Contaminants
"Emerging contaminants" is a term commonly used to describe a broad range of substances - personal care products, pharmaceuticals, new pesticides, detergents, flame retardants, and others - that have recently become a concern in waters across the United States. Although scientists are able to detect these substances in surface water, little is known about their effects on fish and wildlife populations. To start to fill this gap, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Contaminants programs in the Midwest and Northeast received Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for an early warning program in five areas across the Great Lakes Basin. Results of this study will identify the extent of contamination, impacts on the health of local fish populations, and actions to prevent or reduce adverse impacts before they become widespread.

Big-river Mussels in Peril
They have amusing names: the sheepnose, the spectaclecase, the snuffbox, and the rayed bean. But there's nothing humorous about their imperiled status. These and other freshwater mussels that inhabit large rivers are declining. These species range across the eastern, southeastern and Midwest states, and their decline is sending a warning signal: the quality of their aquatic habitat is declining too. Find out how dam construction, sedimentation, contaminants and even the status of their host fish can dramatically affect the health of mussel populations.

Last updated: April 4, 2013