Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Mountain-Prairie Region
Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

The Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) shares an office building with Ecological Services, Habitat and Population Evaluation Team, Wetlands Acquisition Office, Law Enforcement, and the Wetland Habitat Office located in Bismarck, North Dakota.   The FWCO was moved from Valley City to Bismarck in 1990 in response to the increased awareness of the declining populations of native fish in the Missouri River and its tributaries.  Our station's objectives are to:   

  1. Conserve, manage, restore and enhance the imperiled aquatic resources of the Missouri River and its major tributaries, focusing on the endangered pallid sturgeon.
  2. Manage the recreational fisheries of National Wildlife Refuges and other Federal properties.
  3. Provide technical assistance to tribal governments.
  4. Communicate fish and wildlife resource needs and Fish and Wildlife Service activities to the public.

pallid sturgeon at Aksarben Aquarium in NebraskaPallid Sturgeon -Aksarben Aquarium, Nebraska
(photo by USFWS)


Pallid Sturgeon Recovery

A significant portion of our work involves the endangered pallid sturgeon and native fish of the Missouri River system.  This work is accomplished by working closely and cooperatively with numerous State, Federal, and private stakeholders on native fish and river issues, as well as collecting broodstock for spawning, planning for augmentation, research on life history and habitat requirements, protection and restoration of habitats.

dorsalview of shovelnose sturgeon headDorsal view of shovelnose sturgeon head
(photo by USFWS)

shovel nose sturgeon on left and pallid sturgeon on rightShovelnose Sturgeon (l) - Pallid Sturgeon (r)
(photo by USFWS)

ventral view of shovelnose sturgeon headVentral view of shovelnose sturgeon head
(photo by USFWS)

Fishery Assistance

Duties include providing fisheries expertise and technical assistance to the National Wildlife Refuges and Native American Tribes in North Dakota.  The FWCO works with Fish and Wildlife Service field offices, including Ecological Services and National Fish Hatcheries in the Dakotas, as well as several State and Federal agencies.  We also extend assistance to other State and Federal agencies when objectives and priorities are aligned and mutually beneficial.

release of pallid sturgeon into Missouri RiverSteve Krentz releasing a pallid sturgeon used in propagation program into the Missouri River near Williston, North Dakota

(photo by USFWS)

Last updated: February 15, 2013