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

Big dreams in a small pond

November 2018/ By David Eisenhauer

photo of kids fishing at a pond
Students from Christodora’s Manice Education Center try their luck at the fishing pond at Berkshire National Fish Hatchery in western Massachusetts. Photo by David Eisenhauer/USFWS

On a warm afternoon last August, Matt Negron stood with his toes at the edge of a mossy pond at Berkshire National Fish Hatchery in western Massachusetts. His eyes were fixed on the tip of his neon-green Zebco fishing rod. The rod twitched, twitched again, then bent down sharply.

“I’ve got one! I’ve got one!” yelled Negron, a 17-year-old from Manhattan with dark curly hair, half of which was dyed orange.

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thumbnail image of the cover of the FAC Strategic Plan
thumbnail image of the Regional Map for FAC
photo of people fishing off of a pier

photo of processing collection of water samples
Processing water samples at Whitney Genetics Lab, located in Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: USFWS.

eDNA 101

BY GRETCHEN NEWBERRY AND EMY MONROE, MIDWEST FISHERIES CENTER

What happens when our Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices send their water samples to the Whitney Genetics Lab? As the eDNA collection season winds down, we thought we would take a moment to peer into the mysteries behind the lab’s biosecurity doors and show the eDNA lab process step by step.  

The water samples containing potential Asian carp genetic material arrive at the Midwest Fisheries Center in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Whitney lab staff use commercial kits to extract DNA from a pellet found at the bottom of each sample. The kits breaks down cell membranes to release cellular contents, including DNA. To purify the DNA, detergents from the kits are used to wash away fats, proteins, and other organic matter from the DNA. The final extract may contain tiny amounts of silver or bighead carp DNA, or DNA from other aquatic organisms.

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