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A Talk on the Wild Side.

140 Years of Conservation: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fisheries Program

If you’re a fan of ours on Facebook, you may have noticed links to our fisheries podcast over the past few weeks.  The series, consisting of nine interviews, is designed to highlight different hot topics throughout the country.  Right now we’re in our sixth week, so we have three more podcasts to go.

How much do you know about the program, why it was started, or what it’s all about?

Well, this is the Fisheries 140th year.  In 1871, the U.S. Department of State encouraged the establishment of the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries.  There was a growing concern over the decline in the Nation’s fishery resources, a lack of information about the status of the Nation’s fisheries, and a need to define and protect fishing rights in the United States. 

Today, our Fisheries Program plays an important role in conserving America’s fisheries.   We work with key partners from States, Tribes, federal agencies, other Fish and Wildlife Service programs, and private interests in a larger effort to conserve fish and other aquatic resources.

Bull Trout

The Fisheries Program has almost 800 employees who are spread throughout the nation.  They may work in one of the 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices, 70 National Fish Hatcheries, nine Fish Health Centers, seven Fish Technology Centers or the Historic National Fish Hatchery.

These employees and facilities provide a network that is unique in its broad on-the-ground geographic coverage, various technical and managerial capabilities, and their ability to work across political boundaries and embrace a national perspective. The Program supports the only federal fish hatchery system, and has extensive experience raising more than 100 different aquatic species.

Aquatic ecosystems face many different obstacles like barriers blocking fish reaching spawning grounds, competition with invasive species, or climate change to name a few. By building upon 140 years of pioneering conservation techniques to manage the complex factors affecting fish, mussels and aquatic habitats, the Fisheries Program is poised to manage the Nation’s fisheries for generations to come.  

I encourage you to listen to the previous interviews, which have covered topics like the country’s only historic fisheries museum and archives and the propagation of endangered Chinook salmon and Delta smelt.  Remember to check back there for the next three weeks to hear the other topics that will be covered – like the Centennial celebration of Quilcene National Fish Hatchery.

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