Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Genoa National Fish Hatchery Celebrates New Sturgeon Building with Open House

August 2, 2005


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of the Upper Mississippi Fisheries Services invite the public to an open house and celebration on August 9 to dedicate a new lake sturgeon production building at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Genoa, Wis.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the hatchery, located three miles south of Genoa on State Highway 35. A formal speaking program beginning at 1 p.m. will feature U.S. Congressman Ron Kind, Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation Mamie Parker, Service Regional Director Robyn Thorson, and Midwest Assistant Regional Director for Fisheries Gerry Jackson.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be held rain or shine. The Friends group will serve lunch, and the event will also feature a kids’ fishing tank, activity booths for children of all ages, and various boats and tools of the trade used in fisheries restoration.

The hatchery’s new lake sturgeon building features state-of-the-art sturgeon culture systems that will allow over 30,000 sturgeon fingerlings per year to be released into four different restoration areas, including Menominee Tribal waters in Wisconsin and White Earth Tribal waters in Minnesota.

Genoa NFH has been raising lake sturgeon for stocking in tribal waters since 1994. In 2002, the hatchery recognized that it needed expanded facilities and water supplies for this burgeoning program. Construction on the new lake sturgeon building began in 2004.

Local contractors built the facility and its flooring, with the hatchery staff completing the plumbing. The new building has state-of-the-art water heating and treatment systems for production of healthy fish.

“ This new facility will allow the Genoa hatchery to expand its production of lake sturgeon, a species of concern in the Midwest, and fulfill a trust responsibility to Native American tribes by supplying them with healthy fish,” said Hatchery Manager Doug Aloisi. “A large debt of gratitude is owed to Congressman Ron Kind for his continuing support of the hatchery and Mississippi river issues.”

Established in the 1930s, Genoa’s original mission was to supply bass and bluegill to area waters. In the 1950s, because of its location by the Mississippi River, the hatchery turned to sportfish restoration, supplying northern pike and walleye collected from the river to state conservation and fish and game agencies to bolster existing fisheries, or to create new fisheries.

Today, Genoa’s mission is focused on recovering threatened and endangered aquatic species such as the higgins eye pearlymussel and winged mapleleaf mussel; restoring declining native species such as lake sturgeon, and coaster brook trout; and assisting in the fisheries management of federal and tribal lands.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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