Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Information iconWe work to conserve America's aquatic resources for present and future generations. (Photo: Larry Jernigan/USFWS)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice

Although most hatchery lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local hatchery conditions before visiting
  • Follow  current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick

Learn more about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coronavirus Response.

We work with our partners and engage the public, using a science-based approach,
to conserve, restore and enhance fish and other aquatic resources for the
continuing benefit of the American people.

conserving america's fisheries signature

Recent News

photo of people fishing at a hatchery

Alaska Invasive Species

July 14, 2020

Alaska is rich with globally renowned freshwater and marine resources that are sought after for a host of cultural, commercial, and recreational purposes. These resources are one of the primary drivers of the state’s economy. For example, watercraft use generates a $587M annual economic impact and one in every nine residents owns a registered watercraft.  Furthermore, hydropower delivers over 21% of the energy to urban and remote corners of the state.

Unfortunately, the threat to these native and wild resources from invasive species entering Alaska is persistent, and includes highly invasive species such as quagga and zebra mussels. Alaska is one of only five western states not infested by invasive mussels and an invasion could have significant economic, ecological, and cultural impacts to Alaska’s vibrant salmon and trout fisheries. Recognizing the threat to uninfested western states and provinces, state and federal agencies, tribes, and partners have made unprecedented efforts to contain the spread of invasive mussels in the West. Although the challenge is substantial, it is not insurmountable.

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Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Field Office

photo of people fishing at a hatchery
Fishing is popular these days. Photo by USFWS

Despite Pandemic, National Fish Hatcheries Get the Job Done

July 14, 2020

As the country begins to reopen, responsible outdoor recreation is needed to support our nation’s social and economic recoveries. Fishing is one activity that may be enjoyed alone or with others while keeping a responsible social distance apart. It also supports local businesses such as tackle shops, boat rentals, guide services, motels, and local diners and restaurants.

Visiting a National Fish Hatchery System (NFHS) facility is an ideal way to spend quality time outdoors because many offer picnic tables, on-site fishing opportunities, walking paths, walking tours, and more. And don’t be surprised if you hear the joyous sounds of small children as they throw fish food into the water and see the fish swim to the surface for their own picnic.

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thumbnail image of the cover of the FAC Strategic Plan

map of 12 Interior regions

photo of people fishing off of a pier

photo of a Niangua darter
The Niangua darter is a rare freshwater fish found only in central Missouri. Image courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Rare fish brings safe bridges to rural Missouri residents

July 2020 | by Jeff Finley

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service work to conserve some of the rarest plants and animals in the country. The conservation effort to restore the Niangua darter, an endangered fish found only in central Missouri, has brought safer bridges to rural communities. The story of the Niangua darter demonstrates how the work of the Service’s National Fish Passage Program directly benefits the American public we serve.

The Niangua River winds northward through central Missouri, due south of the Lake of the Ozarks. Swimming along the bottom of the river lives a small fish, aptly named the Niangua darter.  Native to the north- flowing tributaries to the Osage River and found nowhere else in the world, the fish is listed as a federally threatened species and as state endangered by Missouri.

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Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

National Fish Passage Program

photo of the director GLATOS holding a lake sturgeon
Chris Vandergoot, director of the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System, shows off a lake sturgeon that was fitted with a high-tech transmitter. GLATOS and its partners have placed more than 1,500 receivers in the Great Lakes -- including 200 in Lake Erie -- to track sturgeon and other fish. The goal is to rebuild lake sturgeon populations that were decimated in the 1800s. (Submitted photo)

Scientists work to repopulate lake sturgeons

July 9, 2020

A fish whose ancestors date back at least 200 million years — possibly 300 million — came close to extinction 100 years ago. Lake Erie was once home to more of those fish than all of the other Great Lakes combined.

Today, the lake sturgeon is still listed as a threatened species in Ohio, which means anglers lucky enough to catch one must snap a photo and release it — quick. But a group of scientists plan to spend the next few decades replenishing populations of this ancient fish, particularly in the lake where they were once so plentiful.

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