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

Young Environmental Leaders Program (YELP) Learn How to Assess Culverts

Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

photo of students training in the Young Environmental Leaders Program
Training students in YELP how to access fish passage. Credit/M.Rosten, Buff-Niagara Waterkeeper  

Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) staff train future fish passage engineers and aquatic biologists. 

Students in the Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper’s Young Environmental Leaders Program (YELP) recently learned how to assess fish passage at culverts with varying degrees of passage, and how to develop solutions for mitigating restrictions to fish passage. In addition to this hands-on training, students learned about the mission of and work conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Learn more about the Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office


thumbnail image of the cover of the FAC Strategic Plan
thumbnail image of FAC facilities
photo of people fishing off of a pier

Let the Dirt Fly! Making Muddy Waters in the Methow River Valley Clear Passage for Fish

By: Julia Pinnix, visitor services manager, Leavenworth Fisheries Complex

My friend and colleague Katy Pfannenstein sent me a photo July 11 of her first day working at Hancock Springs. She and her co-worker, Robes Parrish, are liberally spattered with mud. “We have A LOT of mud out here!” she wrote, and I could hear her laughter bubbling in my imagination.

Katy is a member of the Habitat Restoration team at Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (MCFWCO). She’s diving in this summer, more or less literally, on a project that started back in 2001, known as Hancock Springs.

The spring in question was part of a dairy farm in the Methow River Valley in the early 1900s. The farmer built a structure over upwelling water to make a place for storing milk and keeping it cool. Dairy cattle enjoyed the spring water as well, trampling through the stream channel, which wound some 4,000 feet to empty into the Methow. They ate the vegetation on the banks, and their heavy hooves widened the unprotected stream to as much as 100 feet, turning it to a slow backwater that looked more like a pond than a creek.

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photo of staff working to clear passage for fish

Photo: Putting the dirt to work! Katy Pfannenstein (left), Robes Parrish (center), and Kristen Kirkby (right, CCFEG Project Manager) on the first day of construction in the channel.

3D Archery Trail Expands Public Recreation on Federal Lands

By Brandon Keesler, Iron River NFH

photo of  an archer taking aim at a buck target
Archer taking aim at a buck target at the new 3D archery range. Credit: USFWS 

At Iron River National Fish Hatchery (NFH), WI, the main focus is restoration of lake trout and coaster brook
trout in the upper Great Lakes where 1.5 million yearling fish are stocked annually for this purpose. The hatchery sits on 1,200 acres of land and our secondary focus is to provide quality outreach activities and programs based heavily in outdoor public recreation. Visitors can find snowshoes in our lobby for use on our extensive 3.5 mile trail system free of charge and can access this trail 365 days a year for other uses such as cross country skiing, hiking, hunting and birding. We are always looking for ways to expand upon our program and it is with great excitement that we are able to announce that our 3D archery course is completed and open for business! Visitors can access the nearly mile long trail from the hatchery parking lot and will be met with sixteen shooting lanes comprised of an assortment of 3D animals and targets at varying distances. The trail is free to the public and open May through November. All ages and skill levels are welcome to come and enjoy this wonderful new addition to our grounds. Outdoor access is a priority at Iron River NFH, come check out our diverse public use opportunities!

Read more about the hatchery