Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery
Southwest Region

Environmental Education

Do you have an interest in learning about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fisheries Program, fish hatcheries, your native species and more? Do you enjoy science, learning new information, and sharing your knowledge with a variety of age groups? Then consider volunteering at a Fisheries facility. Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery is currently looking for volunteers interested in developing an Environmental Education program. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the hatchery for more information.

Quagga Mussel Veliger Research

Quagga mussels and New Zealand Mud Snails still thrive on the hatchery. Researchers like to utilize the hatchery for a location to study quagga mussels. The hatchery provides a unique easy way to sample veligers in the flowing raceway and there are always adult mussels available. Some of the research completed at the hatchery is highlighted below:

  • In 2011 Chris Craft, a Colorado State University reseracher, partnered with Willow Beach NFH to conduct research on invasive quagga mussel. The focus of the research is to analyze survival of quagga mussel veligers at different water temperatures over time. The ultimate goal is to understand how to sterilize fish eggs in quagga-positive waters for use in hatchery production.
  • In 2012 the hatchery hosted a Bureau of Reclamation employee working on a graduate research project. The project was to investigate the effectiveness of ultra violet light treatment to kill quagga veligers. Hatchery staff assisted with planning and set up of the treatment system.
  • In 2012 the hatchery hosted the University of Idaho to conduct quagga mussel experiments. The university students were studying the effectiveness of raising the pH with sodium hydroxide to kill quagga veligers and adults. This procedure will be used in ship ballast holds if proven effective.

Other Research

Beginning in 2011, Dr. David Hartley from Toronto University, Herderson, NV, began to utilize the hatchery for his research to better define the immune system of salmonid fish. A better understanding of their immune system should aid in maintaining healthy fish in hatcheries. The second goal is to better understand the bacterial salmonid pathogen, Renibacterium salmoninarum. The hope is that increased knowledge of the mechanisms of pathogens by this bacterium will aid in treatment of prophylaxis of this disease in fish stocks.

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Accomplishments

Last updated: July 23, 2014