San Marcos Aquatic Resource Center
Southwest Region

Contact Information & Staff

Contact Us

Mailing address:
San Marcos NFH/TC
500 East McCarty Lane
San Marcos, Texas 78666

Phone: (512) 353-0011
Fax: (512) 353-0856

Monday through Friday - 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday - Closed
Federal Holidays - Closed

For directions to the hatchery and an area map, go to our Visitor Information page.

Our Staff

Tom Brandt, Ph.D., Center Director

Expertise:  Fish nutrition, feeds, and feeding.  Fish nutritional research with channel catfish led to working with baitfish species, largemouth bass, striped bass, paddlefish, darters and salamanders.  His research in recent years has focused on the effects of aquatic nuisance species on listed species.  Dr. Brandt also is involved with aquatic rearing systems and facility development.

Kenneth G. Ostrand, Ph.D., Deputy Center Director

Expertise: Aquatic ecology and fisheries science. Dr. Ostrand’s research integrates the fields of physiology (e.g. bioenergetics, osmoregulatory, reproductive, and stress related biochemical processes), behavior (e.g. migration, microhabitat use, inter-and intra-specific competition), and ecology (e.g. alternate life history strategies, population dynamics, community interactions) linking basic science to applied questions.

Jeffery T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Botanist

Expertise: Conservation and ecology of native aquatic and riparian plants, habitat restoration, and non-native plant control methods using integrated pest management. His research is focused on maintaining refugia of Texas wild rice ex-situ using various culture methods. Other research areas include long-term monitoring of Texas wild rice and non-native aquatic plant populations on the San Marcos River and other river systems within the Edward’s Plateau, applied management for control of aquatic and riparian non-native plants on listed plants, and native plant propagation to supplement restoration of disturbed habitats.

Joe N. Fries, M.S., Fish Biologist

Expertise: Aquatic salamander and invertebrate culture and fish culture.  Joe has experience with warm water sportfish culture, plankton culture and identification, pond fertilization, and aquatic animal tagging. During the last decade Joe has devoted his efforts in culture towards threatened and endangered aquatic species, including Devils River minnows, San Marcos salamanders, Texas blind salamanders, Barton Springs salamanders, and several species of small aquatic invertebrates.  Additionally, he is involved in research to better understand the ecosystems the species habitat.

Randy Gibson, M.S., Fish Biologist

Expertise: Invertebrate zoology and aquatic biology.  Mr. Gibson’s research background is primarily on invertebrate communities of springs in east, central, and west Texas and threatened and endangered species of the Edwards Aquifer (e.g. Devils River minnow, Comal Springs riffle beetle, Comal Springs dryopid beetle, and Peck’s cave amphipod).  He is currently working on captive breeding strategies for these listed species and working with others to learn more about the rare and relatively unknown spring and cave invertebrates of Texas.

Valentin Cantu, M.S., Fish Biologist

Expertise:  Aquatic salamander culture.  Mr. Cantu is involved in designing and constructing refugium systems; monitoring, collecting, and culturing listed fishes and salamanders; monitoring and assessing the health risk of exotic trematodes to fountain darters; eradicating an exotic invasive aquatic macrophyte from the San Marcos River; and aquatic macrophyte restoration in the San Marcos River.

Patricia Caccavale, B.S., Region 2 Dive Officer

Expertise: Marine biology and animal husbandry . Patricia has experience in marine mammal husbandry, fish, mussel, plant and salamander culture, as well as toxicity studies. She is involved with the care and propagation of native Texas endangered and threatened species of salamanders, fish, mussels and plants, as well as the monitoring and removal of invasive aquatic species.  She has over 25 years experience in Scuba diving and manages all FWS SCUBA activities for Region 2.

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Last updated: December 10, 2014