Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Fall harvest season approaches at Genoa National Fish Hatchery
Midwest Region, September 14, 2020
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A black crappie reared at Genoa.
A black crappie reared at Genoa. - Photo Credit: Photo by USFWS.
A yellow perch reared at Genoa.
A yellow perch reared at Genoa. - Photo Credit: Photo by USFWS.

The apple trees boughs are bent to almost breaking. A nip is in the morning air, and the maple leaves are starting to turn. Fall is approaching and with the falling water temperatures, fish growth in Genoa National Fish Hatchery's ponds and raceways begins to slow. This is when, not only the farm harvesters are deployed, but also when ponds at Genoa are drained and harvested. Fingerlings of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, walleye and yellow perch will be transferred to their receiving waters on Native American lands, military bases, national wildlife refuges and certain state waters to further recreational fishing opportunities. Bolstering recreational fishing opportunities is actually secondary to their use in mussel restoration programs and other fish restoration programs.

Pond harvest generally creates an abundance of fish for both uses, and it is rewarding to be able to fulfill several beneficial uses as well as participate in ongoing recovery and restoration programs. This fall Genoa trucks will load their precious cargo and travel to their stocking sites. These sites have been vetted and are tied to scientifically based fisheries management plans.

A small number of these species will be held over for use as mussel hosts. Freshwater mussels require a fish host to live and nurture on to complete their life cycle. The hatchery's mussel biologists will place mussel larvae on the host fish's gills when the mussel females release their larvae in the next growing season. And life goes on....and finds a way to continue.

Contact Info: Doug Aloisi, 608-689-2605, Doug_Aloisi@fws.gov
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