Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery
Southeast Region

 

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Welcome to the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery

Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery Sign. Credit: USFWS Image.

Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery Sign. Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery consists of 31 acres bordering the North Edisto River south of Charleston, South Carolina.
  • The hatchery is a unit of the Warm Springs Fish Technology Center, a component of the Warm Springs Regional Fisheries Center, Warm Springs, Georgia.
  • Station has flexible and unique capabilities available to propagate and study most freshwater and saltwater aquatic species found in the South Atlantic Coastal Region.
  • Facilities include nine recirculated intensive culture systems; three recirculated egg incubation/larval rearing systems; numerous holding and intensive rearing tanks; and six salt and freshwater ponds.
  • Number of staff: four.
  • The hatchery's primary area of concern is the south Atlantic coast.

 

 

Station Goals

Atlantic sturgeon. Credit: USFWS Image.

Atlantic sturgeon. Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Restore and manage interjurisdictional coastal and riverine fishes, such as the American shad, anadromous sturgeon, and red drum.
  • Recovery of species listed under the Endangered Species Act, such as the shortnose sturgeon and candidate species such as the Atlantic sturgeon.
  • Pioneer and develop culture techniques for both freshwater and saltwater species.
  • Develop hatchery product evaluation techniques.
  • Enhance and restore fish habitat in both coastal and freshwater systems.

 

 

Fish Species

Red drum fingerlings. Credit: USFWS Image.

Red drum fingerlings. Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Atlantic sturgeon: Investigating reproduction and culture techniques.
  • Red drum: Spawned on site, cultured in saltwater ponds, genetically tagged and released into South Carolina waters.
  • Cobia: Investigating reproduction and culture techniques.
  • Bonnethead Sharks: Investigating age and growth through chemical tagging techniques.
  • American Shad: Restoration of stocks in the South Edisto River.

 

 

Services Provided To

Shortnose sturgeon fin spine marked with OTC. Credit: USFWS Image.

Shortnose sturgeon fin spine marked with OTC. Credit: USFWS Image.

  • Federal agencies including other Fish and Wildlife Service program offices.
  • State agencies.
  • Native American Tribes.
  • Military bases.
  • Universities.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s).
  • The public.

 

 

Kids' Fish for Fun Event. Credit: USFWS Image.

Kids' Fish for Fun Event. Credit: USFWS Image.

Public Use Opportunities

  • Environmental education and outreach for tour groups and individual visitors.
  • Informational kiosk installed to familiarize visitors with station and service goals.
  • Remote location with beautiful preserved live oak and Spanish moss habitat provides excellent birding, wildlife watching and picnicking opportunities for the public.
  • A variety of rare species can be viewed on the station (wood storks, brown pelicans, American alligator, bald eagle, etc.)
  • Self-guided nature tour highlighting the South Carolina Lowcountry ecosystem.

 

 

Last updated: August 3, 2011