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

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.

Read More


photo of people fishing at Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery
Attendees having a good time fishing during the event. Photo by USFWS

Do you remember your first catch?

June 2018

For many, it was Saturday, June 9, at Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, Texas. A first-ever event took place that involved 40 attendees and several hundred catfish.

The event was a pilot as one of Take Me Fishing’s First Catch Centers, bringing fishing and boating experiences and learning opportunities to new areas.

Attendees rotated through stations where they learned about fish habitat, knot tying, equipment rigging, fishing laws and ethics, and of course, they got to go fishing.

Jeff Conway, Inks Dam project leader said, "It was an amazing event and can you imagine, that the first fish you ever caught was a 3 pound catfish!"

George Brugnoli, Friends of the Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, Chairman of the Fishing Sub-Committee said they were enthusiastic as they prepared for the event and ecstatic afterward. "Our instructors did a great job, support by the hatchery staff was exceptional and the joyful smiles on participant’s faces was more than sufficient reward. We look forward to making the next program even better."

Micheal Scherer, Fishing's Future commented, “This was one of the best “FIRST TIMER” EVENTS that I have attended with the First Catch pilot program. I DID NOTHING and that shows me they are ready to take this project on."

If you missed out on this First Catch Center event at Inks, another event is scheduled to take place in October.

For More Information
Pilot Take Me Fishing First Catch Centers to Cultivate the Next Generation of Anglers
Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery

Pilot Program Partners:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Hatchery and Refuge Systems
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Fishing’s Future
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission


photo of juvenile James spiny mussels
Juvenile James spiny mussels raised at the Virginia Fisheries and Aquatic Wildlife Center, Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery. Photo by R. Mair/USFWS

Hatching more than fish: Fish hatcheries help raise a variety of rare species

June 2018

Fish hatcheries across the country are taking a hands-on approach to recovering imperiled species that aren’t fish. Besides the snakes, here are a few non-fish species growing up alongside fish in hatcheries.

For entire blog


More Stories »

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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photo of people fishing off of a pier
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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. 

Jurassic World Fishes [Swimming Today]

Posted by SOLOMON R DAVID on JUNE 11, 2018

Fish biologists from USFWS Alpena FWCO, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, and University of Windsor, with Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) captured in the Detroit River. Credit: USFWS

Sharp teeth, bizarre shapes, gargantuan sizes, and a family tree that dates back over 100 million years…I’m not talking about dinosaurs, but ancient freshwater fishes!

Twenty-five years ago today (June 11, 1993), Jurassic Park debuted in theaters. That date is fossilized in my mind because I recorded the trailer on VHS (wow, talk about ancient) and watched it over and over. Paleontological inaccuracies aside, that movie brought to life many of the creatures that inspired my interest in biology; that interest, and the relatives of those Jurassic fishes are still alive and well today.

To read the full story, please visit The Fisheries Blog