Contact Information & Staff
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.
Sunday - Closed
Federal Holidays - Closed
For directions to the hatchery and an area map, go to our Visitor Information page.
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.