Fish and Aquatic Conservation

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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.

We organize our work around these areas:

Recent News

a photo of an Apache tribal member holding an Apache trout
Apache tribal member handles a large Apache trout. Photo by Craig Springer/USFWS.

Bolstering rare captive trout brood stock – through ‘cryopreservation’

July 2018

The biological clock never ceases ticking, and all living things die. But that clock can be frozen, and decay ceased indefinitely. The implications to fish conservation are large.

Williams Creek National Fish Hatchery, situated amid the ponderosa pine-studded hills of the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, harbors gold: the only captive Apache trout brood stock in existence.

This hatchery, one of 70 other national fish hatcheries, turns 80 years old this year. It’s a product of the New Deal era – a hatchery built on Apache lands under the auspices of the White Mountain Apache Tribe for the express purpose of raising trout for fishing. Trout fishing, then as now, helps fuel a rural and tourism-based economy in the White Mountains.

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Road-Stream Crossings

Wildcards for Alaska’s transportation infrastructure and fish

July 2018

a photo of a stream simulation culvert
Stream simulation culvert in Tyonek. Photo by Ash Adams

Putting a road across a stream in Alaska is a lot like going on an adventure. Survival of road and traveler alike hinges on careful planning and weighing risks.

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photo of someone holding a Gila trout
Adult Gila trout. Photo by Andrew Miller/USFWS

Mora National Fish Hatchery, NM, Gives Threatened Gila Trout Fighting Chance

June 2018

A rare trout makes its home in the upper reaches of the Gila River of New Mexico and Arizona. The Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) is native only to small headwater streams where it was landlocked thousands of years ago from sea-run Oncorhynchus species.

The status of Gila trout improved from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ in 2006, but they are still in a precarious situation.

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Junior Ranger Let's Go Fishing!

Let’s Go Fishing! is part of the National Park Service’s popular Jr. Ranger program. A great opportunity to teach young people about fishing and conservation through participation.

Get reeled into fishing and explore national fish hatcheries, national parks and national wildlife refuges to have safe & enjoyable fishing experiences.

  • Learn about many aspects of fishing, aquatic habitats and conservation and fishing safety.
  • Protect native fish and the habitats on which they depend.

Are you ready to earn your Junior Ranger Angler badge?
Follow these easy steps:

  • Download the booklet or contact your favorite hatchery, refuge or park to see if booklets and badges are available.
  • Complete as many activities in the book as you can.
  • Then return the completed booklet for a Junior Ranger Angler badge.

News Release »

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The Fisheries Blog

FAC is partnering with The Fisheries Blog to share some great stories on fish, we hope you enjoy them. These blogs do not reflect any official government view or policy. 

Radios Reveal Wandering Habits of Smallmouth Bass in Oklahoma: Angler-funded research lends greater understanding of one of America’s greatest sport fish

Posted by Guest Writer, Craig Springer, May 7, 2018.

Dr. Shannon Brewer with Oklahoma State University Ph.D. candidate Andrew Miller. She holds a radio-tagged Neosho smallmouth bass. Credit OSU 

About the time that redbuds flash their pretty pinkish blooms on eastern Oklahoma’s hillsides and gray streamside sycamores unfurl their fresh leaves the color akin to a wet lime, there’s something curious going on.

And it goes mostly sight unseen.

Smallmouth bass are on the move with the singular purpose of procreation. As Planet Earth wobbles back to the vernal position the daylight lengthens, shadows shorten and the creeks warm. These cues signal to what is arguably America’s top freshwater sport fish that it’s time to spawn.

To read the full story, please visit The Fisheries Blog