712 FW 2, Lot Designation System 

FWM#:    149 (new)
Date:        June 21, 1994
Series:      Fisheries
Part 712:   Fish Propagation
Originating Office:  Division of Fish Hatcheries


2.1 Purpose. This chapter promulgates Service procedures for tracking fish from egg incubation through distribution.

2.2 Objective. Identifying and tracking eggs and fish reared at Service facilities are critical to a successful hatchery management system. This information can be used to increase hatchery efficiency, track costs, and evaluate species and strain success or failure in meeting management objectives.

2.3 Scope. The scope is Servicewide for personnel involved in fish hatchery management. The Lot Designation System is not intended to provide a complete historical record for a fish lot. The complete historical record for fish lots should be maintained at the field level. The designator codes used in this system are the same as those used in the Fish and Fish Egg Distribution System.

2.4 Responsibility. This section defines the Lot Designation System responsibilities of the various organizational levels of the System.

A. The Assistant Director - Fisheries. The Assistant Director - Fisheries has the responsibility to refine this system periodically and develop, maintain, and disseminate the master list of strain designator codes, as well as other designator codes.

B. Assistant Regional Directors - Fisheries. The Assistant Regional Directors - Fisheries have the responsibility to implement this Lot Designation System for identifying and tracking eggs and fish reared at Service facilities.

2.5 Lot Designation System. A lot is considered to be a group of cultured fish of the same species, strain, and year class, originating from the same spawning population (a spawning population can consist of different age classes). The following Lot Designation System will be used to track all fish and fish eggs distributed from the National Fish Hatchery System.

A. Species Designator: The species designator is the 3-letter abbreviation (all in CAPS) of commonly used names (Fisheries Information System Code Designations).

B. Strain Designator:

(1) The strain designator is the 3-letter abbreviation (all in CAPS) of fish populations (Fisheries Information System Code Designations). This designator will immediately follow the species designator, separated by a hyphen.

(2) The third letter of the strain designator designates whether the lot originated from a domestic hatchery broodstock (D) or a wild broodstock (W). For the purposes of the Lot Designation System, a domestic hatchery broodstock is considered to be a population originating from gametes of fish that have been spawned and reared, on a hatchery, for more than two generations. Wild broodstocks are considered to be naturally occurring populations that live their entire life cycle in the wild, or populations originating from gametes of fish that have been spawned and reared, on a hatchery, for two generations or less. Sea-run stocks, including Atlantic salmon kelts and captured striped bass, and populations established by stocking are considered wild broodstocks.

(3) In some situations, the strain may be unknown or unnecessary for management purposes. In this case, either "ZZD" or "ZZW" must be used for the strain designator. The code "ZZD" designates unknown strains that originate from domestic broodstock held at a hatchery. The code "ZZW" designates unknown strains that originate from wild populations.

C. Year Class Designator: The year class (or brood year) designator identifies the calendar year when most of the eggs are spawned. The designator will be the last two numerals of the calendar year (i.e., 88 = 1988, 00 = 2000, etc.) and will immediately follow the strain designator, separated by a hyphen. For example, if a population of adults were spawned from December 1988 through January 1989, and if most of the eggs were taken in December, the year class designator for all of the eggs would be "88"; if most of the eggs were taken in January, the year class designator would be "89".

D. Egg Source Designator: The egg source designator identifies where the broodstock was held and spawned. This designator will immediately follow the year class designator, separated by a hyphen. This will be the final designator unless a special condition exists.

(1) National Fish Hatchery System - If eggs originated from a National Fish Hatchery, the designator will be the 3-letter abbreviation (all in CAPS) (Fisheries Information System Code Designations).

(2) State Hatchery - If eggs originated from a State hatchery, the designator will be the 2-letter abbreviation (all in CAPS) for the State where the hatchery is located (Fisheries Information System Code Designations). The complete name of the hatchery providing the eggs will be documented on the Lot History chart.

(3) Commercial Hatchery - If eggs originated from a commercial hatchery, the designator will be the capital letter "C". The complete name of the commercial hatchery providing the eggs will be documented on the Lot History chart.

(4) Tribal Hatchery - If eggs originated from a Tribal hatchery, the designator will be the capital letter "T". The complete name of the Tribal hatchery providing the eggs will be documented on the Lot History chart.

(5) Foreign Hatchery - If eggs originated from a foreign hatchery, the designator will be the capital letter "F". The complete name of the country and hatchery providing the eggs will be documented on the Lot History chart.

(6) Free-Ranging Broodstock - If eggs originate from free-ranging broodstocks that are trapped and spawned in the wild (not at a hatchery), the designator will be the capital letters "FR."

2.6 Special Conditions.

A. National Fish Hatchery Transfers. To ensure that the lot designation reflects the true history of a particular egg or fish lot, the hatchery abbreviations for all prior locations will be a permanent part of the lot designation. The additional hatchery abbreviations will be in parenthesis to distinguish it from the egg source designator. When fish are transferred from one hatchery to another, a copy of the Lot History chart will accompany the fish. The final rearing station is never coded in the lot designation.

B. Crosses. Strain crosses will be tracked using the lot designation process with the following exceptions:

(1) Strain. Female used in cross is listed first. Male used in cross is listed second. A slash separates the female strain designator from the male strain designator.

(2) Egg Source. Female gamete source is listed first. Male gamete source is listed second. A slash separates the female gamete source from the male gamete source.

C. Sublots. Sublots will be permitted for special studies, for tracking release groups that are expected to have different survival rates due to differing rearing parameters, and for lots that would otherwise have the same lot designation. Sublots based on multiple egg shipments from a single spawning population should not be used. The lot designator for sublots will be the numerals 1, 2, 3, etc., separated by a hyphen.

D. Mixing Lots. To ensure that a valid lot designation is available to fishery managers for tracking purposes, it is not recommended that different lots of eggs or fish be combined into the same rearing unit. If different lots are combined into the same rearing unit, the lot will be considered mixed and untrackable.



For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management, at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov 

Return to the Series 700 Home Page
Visit the Division of PDM Directives Home Page
Visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page