Projects and Research

National Fish Hatcheries rear fish and other aquatic species – like crayfish and mussels - to help restore and sustain important populations for the benefit of the American people. Freshwater mussels play very important roles in our rivers and lakes by filtering the water and creating habitat for fish and aquatic insects fish like to eat. With declining fish and freshwater mussel populations becoming prevalent across the world, fish hatchery operations are more important now than ever. 

Five gravid (with larva) female Round Hickorynut mussels

Erwin National Fish Hatchery has worked closely with multiple partners to assist in the recovery of multiple freshwater mussel species. Some of those species include the Appalachian Elktoe, Round Hickorynut, and the Snuff box mussel.

Southern Appalachian Brook Trout found by Erwin NFH staff while sampling local mountain streams

Erwin NFH is also an active partner in the recovery of the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout.

Erwin NFH Fish Biologist, David Teague, holding a lake sturgeon captured during annual sampling efforts on Tennessee River.

Erwin NFH participates in lake sturgeon research every year, assisting other agencies with measuring, weighing, and tagging the fish. 

TWRA and Erwin National Fish Hatchery staff electrofishing a mountain stream to survey fish populations.

Erwin NFH participates in annual stream surveys, assisting with capturing, identifying, and collecting data of stream fish.