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)



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.

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Recent News

photo of employees stocking trout
Preparing to stock retired Lake trout. Credit: USFWS

Where does a fish go when it retires?

Written by Denise Johnston, Pendills Creek and Sullivan Creek National Fish Hatcheries, Michigan

Where do fish go when they retire from the Great Lakes Lake Trout Restoration Program? No place warm…that’s for sure!  The Sullivan Creek National Fish Hatchery brood stock produced over six million green eggs this fall for federal and state partners in the continuing effort to restore self-sustaining populations of lake trout in the Great Lakes.  

With several lots (groups of young fish) poised to produce next year, the older fish could be “retired”. Hatchery staff worked with state partners to identify suitable lakes for stocking these fish. Nearly 900 Seneca Lake and Perry Sound strain lake trout found new homes in Lake Fanny Hooe, Grousehaven Lake and Maceday Lake. These whopper lake trout range from 15 to 29 inches in length. The retired fish will provide angling opportunities throughout the winter to those who brave the cold for a chance to catch a trophy sized laker.  

For those who just want to see some of these awesome specimens in their new home…and visit a really cool place, check out the  Kitchitikipi Spring in Palms Brook State Park.

More about Sullivan Creek 


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map of 12 Interior regions

photo of people fishing off of a pier


A Giant Restoration Effort

January 2020 | By Deborah Weisberg

Lake sturgeon nearly disappeared from the Great Lakes 100 years ago due to overfishing and pollution. If restoration efforts are successful, this prehistoric fish could roam the waters of Lake Erie again. For species that delay reproduction, such as the lake sturgeon which doesn’t reproduce until at least 10 to 20 years of age, it would naturally take decades to see an increase in population growth assuming the causes for the decline in lake sturgeon have been abated,” says Dr. John Sweka, Northeast Fishery Center. 

Nearly 6,000 sturgeons were stocked in the Maumee River, a Lake Erie tributary, over the past 2 years, in the hope to jump-start a naturally reproducing population of sturgeons.

Read more

Lake Sturgeon Release at the Toledo Zoo

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Angler and Boating Magazine

photo of employees holding a Lake sturgeon
Northeast Fishery Center scientists with Lake sturgeon from Buffalo Harbor, Lake Erie. Photo credit: USFWS

A year of clearing the way for communities and wildlife

By Lauri-Munroe-Hultman

Rick Malasky knows definitive statements are risky. “Never say never,” said the Newmarket, New Hampshire, public works director. “But I don’t think Bay Road will flood again in my lifetime.”

That’s saying something, considering the coastal roadway required major repairs after flooding in 2006 and has been washed out three times since.

The Town of Newmarket is just one beneficiary of funding and expertise from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve fish passage and public safety in the Northeast.

From October 2018 to September 2019, we worked with partners to complete 58 projects that removed barriers or restrictions on waterways, reconnecting more than 1,500 upstream miles of rivers and streams and nearly 260 acres of wetlands.

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photo of service employee holding a fish
Removing dams and upgrading culverts benefits migratory fish like river herring and local communities. Photo credit: USFWS