Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Although most hatchery lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you Recreate Responsibly.
Check individual hatchery operating status before visiting.

Since 1871 we have been working to conserve, restore and enhance
fish and other aquatic resources for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Explore 150 years of aquatic conservation

Recent News

hand holding a Bering Cisco
A Bering Cisco.

Made in Alaska: Bering Cisco

How Alaska’s only endemic fish found its way to New York City markets

September 2021

Bering Cisco are the type of fish you see and say “Yup, that’s a fish” and continue with your day. They have that classic, but common fish look: silvery and fusiform. They’re not impressively huge either, fitting easily into two hands like a breakfast burrito. At one pound, they weigh about the same too.

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The Lacey Act: Quietly Protecting Native Wildlife for Over 120 Years

August 2021

You may have never heard of the injurious wildlife provision of the Lacey Act. And when it’s working its best, you’ll never see the species it targets.

“I liken it to a parallel endangered species list,” says Su Jewell, Injurious Wildlife Listing Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

While the endangered and threatened species lists identify species in need of protection, the list of injurious wildlife regulates species expected to cause harm if they were to become established in U.S. environments outside their natural range. Once a species is added to the list of injurious wildlife, it becomes illegal to import it into the United States or transport it between the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory without a permit (injurious wildlife provisions of the Lacey Act ).  

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Wels catfish elongated scale-less, slime-covered body, with strong upper body strength and laterally flattened tail
The wels catfish is a potentially harmful species that will hopefully never reach the United States. Photo by Elisabeth S. Mueller (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Migrating Adult Sockeye Salmon Facing Elevated Water Temperatures in Columbia River Basin

August 2021 | By:Sarah Mastrian, Directorate Fellow, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Summer. A time to soak up the warmth of the sun, indulge in some cold treats, and of course — enjoy some exciting water recreation. During the summer, paddleboards, kayaks, fishing boats, and numerous other types of watercraft fill the Missouri River Basin. Anglers are hooked on opportunities to catch trout, walleye, bass, or perhaps even a hefty native paddlefish. The Missouri River Basin, composed of many tributaries and reservoirs, stretches from western Montana east to the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri.

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Photo of a Silver carp
Silver Carp. Photo by Sam Stukel/USFWS

Migrating Adult Sockeye Salmon Facing Elevated Water Temperatures in Columbia River Basin

August 2021 | By: Brent Lawrence, Public Affairs Officer, USFWS Columbia Pacific Northwest

Elevated water temperature across the Columbia River basin is already having an impact on migrating adult sockeye salmon.

Due to the extreme heatwave in late June, coupled with decreased snowpack in many areas, the water temperatures on the Columbia River and its tributaries are spiking to unsafe levels for migrating salmon. These returning salmon do best when water temperatures are 60 degrees or below. However, they’re already encountering water in the low 70s as they navigate upstream to spawn.

A mid-July survey of adult sockeye salmon, collected at Priest Rapids Dam by the Yakama Nation, showed that most of the fish had multiple skin lesions ranging from light abrasions of the skin to large open sores exposing muscle. These lesions differ from those typically observed in 10-plus years of Yakama Nation moving adult salmon from Priest Rapids Dam to Lake Cle Elum.

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Adult sockeye salmon showing lesions due to the extreme heat wave.
A mid-July survey of adult sockeye salmon at Priest Rapids Dam showed that most of the fish had multiple skin lesions ranging from light abrasions of the skin to large open sores exposing muscle. Photo by USFWS

FAC Strategic Plan FY2016-2020

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Get to Know Your Facilities

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Let's Go Fishing - Catch the Fun

photo of people fishing off of a pier

Expert Tips to Hook the
Perfect Fish
One adult and two girls fishing from a boat.

Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite fishing tips from the experts who raise them.

Responsible Fishing Tips for New Anglers
Three kids and an adult fish from a pier.

Find a place to fish near you!  Plan your next fishing trip at