Fisheries Program
Northeast Region
 

Dr. Mike Millard represents Service on international horseshoe crab science committee

Dr. Mike Millard. Credit: USFWS
Mike Millard. Credit: USFWS

April 14, 2014

Dr. Mike Millard, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Fishery Center in Lamar, Penn., is one of six scientists selected by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to assess and make recommendations on the status listing for horseshoe crabs (Limulus).

Millard's selection to represent the Service on this prestigious multi-agency group is a testament to the level of respect he has within the fisheries science community.

"It's an honor to serve on this international team of professionals who are dedicated to conserving these ancient animals that are ecologically, economically, and culturally valued across the globe," says Millard.

Millard has led the Service for over a decade on horseshoe crab conservation, and along with other Service biologists has made great strides in formulating sustainable management practices for the species. He traveled to Hong Kong and Taiwan where he contributed to a symposium for transferring ideas learned with our local species to help conserve imperiled Asian horseshoe crab species. With the help of Millard and his U.S. colleagues, that international effort led to strategies to raise awareness for the imperiled Asian species.

The IUCN is a global authority on imperiled species and has a unique classification system for evaluating the conservation status of animal populations. The team of scientists on which Millard serves will make a recommendation on the species' status to the IUCN to ensure horseshoe crab populations are not overexploited.

Horseshoe crabs are harvested for use as bait, as well as for globally important purposes in the biomedical industry. At the same time, horseshoe crab eggs are a major dietary component of migrating shore birds. The teams'; recommendations to the IUCN for a final decision will reflect the status of the North American population as a whole, and could affect both the commercial harvest industry and shore bird conservation efforts. A team of Asian scientists is working on recommendations for the three Asian species of horseshoe crabs.

Millard's work with the IUCN demonstrates the Service's strong commitment to working with partners and collaborating with others for the best science-based decisions in wildlife conservation.


Fish and Wildlife Service Ends Investments in Merrimack River Atlantic Salmon Program; Shifts Focus to Shad, other Fish Species

Atlantic salmon. Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS
Atlantic salmon. credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS

For immediate release:
September 5, 2013

For further information:

Joe McKeon, 603-595-3586
Terri Edwards, 413-253-8324

Based on continued low annual sea-run salmon returns and shrinking Federal budgets, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced it will end its investment in the more than 30-year old Atlantic salmon restoration program in the Merrimack River.

The Service has worked cooperatively with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S.Forest Service to raise and stock Atlantic salmon for the Merrimack River at two hatcheries: Nashua National Fish Hatchery in New Hampshire, and North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery in Massachusetts.

map of Merrimack River

“This was a hard decision, but the science tells us that there is little chance that we will successfully restore Atlantic salmon to the Merrimack,” said Wendi Weber, the Service’s Northeast Regional Director. “While the science is driving our decision, our declining budgets hastened it. We need to prioritize. With the lack of success, we need to shift our scarce resources to priority restoration efforts where we can make a difference. ”

At today’s Merrimack River Policy Committee meeting in Concord, N.H., the Service and the committee asked the Merrimack River Technical Committee to develop a plan that outlines program next steps, including stocking the last of the Merrimack salmon that are currently at the two hatcheries, and options for continued Atlantic salmon monitoring in river.

The Service has already begun to shift resources toward higher priority restoration efforts, such as American shad. Both Nashua and North Attleboro National Fish Hatcheries raise shad that are stocked in rivers from New Hampshire to Rhode Island.

Today’s announcement follows a decision in 2012 to end the Service’s investment in Atlantic salmon restoration in the Connecticut River. In both the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers, salmon returns have been limited due to poor marine survival, in-river habitat degradation, and dams that impede fish migration.

The Service continues to focus on recovery of endangered Atlantic salmon in Gulf of Maine rivers, which are the last remaining wild Atlantic salmon in the country.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/northeast.


Hatchery Produces Lake Trout for Release in Great Lakes for First Time Since 2005

April 9, 2013: Partners from Ohio release lake trout stocking into Lake Erie. Miller Ferry employee Greg Johnson (bottom) helps Ohio Division of Wildlife Castalia Hatchery staff member Lyle Brown (on truck). Credit: John Hageman.
Partners from Ohio release lake trout stocking into Lake Erie.

April 15, 2013: Fisheries biologists will continue releasing thousands of lake trout into Lake Erie this week. The trout are the first yearlings raised at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in Warren, Pennsylvania since infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN), a contagious and incurable fish virus, was detected there in 2005.

A total of 200,000 yearlings will be released in into Lake Erie and then biologists will move on to Lake Ontario. Stocking began last week with the release of 80,000 fish in Ohio and will continue this week in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“The stocking is going well”, said hatchery manager Larry Miller. “The fish are the largest we’ve produced as yearlings, which should help with survival. We’ve had excellent cooperation from our partners.”

After IPN was detected at the hatchery, all fish on site were destroyed and the facility was thoroughly decontaminated and upgraded with $1.13 million received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The hatchery reopened for fish production in November 2011, when five-year-old lake trout brood stock and eggs were provided to the hatchery from other hatcheries.

The yearlings being released into lakes Erie and Ontario hatched from the eggs brought to Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in December 2011 from Vermont, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They were raised at the hatchery in outdoor raceways.

Allegheny National Fish Hatchery raises lake trout to restore native fish populations, and support recreational fisheries in lakes Erie and Ontario as part of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission restoration plan. The commission is a partnership of 16 state, provincial, and federal agencies working together to address the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes.

Support for the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery lake trout restoration is provided by the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initiative was launched in 2010 to tackle the long-standing problems and emerging challenges that must be addressed to revitalize the Great Lakes ecosystem.


Allegheny National Fish Hatchery Back in Business, Raising Lake Trout for Lower Great Lakes Fisheries

For immediate release: January 30, 2012

For further information: Larry Miller, 814/726-0890, larry_m_miller@fws.gov

Download photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsnortheast/sets/72157628636995143/

Warren, Penn. – For the first time since 2005, the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery is back in the business of raising lake trout to restore recreational fisheries in the lower Great Lakes, according to Larry Miller, hatchery manager.

In November, five-year-old juvenile lake trout from another Service-run hatchery in western Massachusetts were the first released into the raceways at Allegheny National Fish Hatchery. These 2,200 fish will mature this fall and will produce eggs for future generations of lake trout raised at the hatchery.

In December, the hatchery received a total of one million lake trout eggs from the State of Vermont’s Salisbury Fish Hatchery, the Sullivan Creek National Fish Hatchery in Michigan, and the Iron River National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin. The eggs have hatched and the trout fry will be moved to outdoor raceways in spring. These fish will grow for 18 months and the trout "yearlings" will be stocked into lakes Erie and Ontario in May 2013.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Goes Green at The Connecticut River Coordinator’s Office and the Richard Cronin National Salmon Station

Installation of solar panels on the roof of the Connecticut River Coordinator's Office in November 2011. Credit: USFWS
Wade Jodun taking a sturgeon blood sample. Credit: USFWS

For immediate release:
December 5, 2011

For further information:
Ken Sprankle, FWS Project Leader, 413/548-9138
Wade Jodun, FWS Fisheries Facilities Maintenance, 413/253-8624

Sunderland, MA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is going green at its office complex in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Forty–six photovoltaic panels were placed upon the asphalt shingle roof at the Connecticut River Coordinator’s Office this fall.  In November, the 210 watt panels began converting energy from the sun into electricity. They are expected to produce enough electricity to supply the office with 70% of its power needs. The ten kilowatt system is also expected to reduce carbon emissions by 100 tons over the life of this project.

A smaller solar array (20 panels) adorns the hatchery roof at the Richard Cronin National Salmon Station next door. The hatchery’s five kilowatts will reduce electric consumption there by about 30%. And, though this system is smaller than that at the Coordinator’s Office, it is expandable. The hatchery’s larger roof can hold 80 more panels. These additional panels can be added if funding is available in the future.

This green project is reducing the Fisheries facility’s operating costs and carbon footprint. And, it supports the President's September 26, 2005 memorandum directing all Federal agencies to take immediate action to conserve energy and curtail fuel consumption to the maximum extent while carrying out the Service’s Mission. It also supports the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which stipulates not less than 7.5% of total electric energy utilized by federal entities, including the Service, comes from renewable sources by FY 2013.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfwsnortheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwsnortheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/usfwsnortheast.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Remove Fish and Decontaminate White River National Fish Hatchery

Bethel, VT - Tropical Storm Irene swept through New England August 28, severely flooding much of White River National Fish Hatchery in Bethel, Vermont. The hatchery rears Atlantic salmon brood stock for restoration efforts in the Connecticut River, lake trout for stocking in the Great lakes, and native brook trout to support recreational fishing in some Vermont rivers.

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