News Bulletin: White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery (WV) Status Update
July 5, 2016 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery (NFH) in Greenbrier County, WV was seriously damaged during the flooding of Wade's Creek on Thursday, June 23, and will be closed to visitors for safety purposes until cleanup is completed.
The hatchery, established in 1902, raises rainbow trout as part of the National Broodstock Program. The hatchery is also a high-tech aquatic research center, raising native mussels and crayfish for restoration and recovery of imperiled and endangered species.
When the flooding occurred, the immediate priority was to ensure the safety of staff. After ensuring their own safety, the staff worked quickly to provide power, a water source, and food sources for the species on station.
Fortunately, the mussels and crayfish on station survived. However, the water flooded the hatchery's raceways where the fish are raised, killing approximately 15,000 adult rainbow trout broodstock. In addition, another 30,000 juvenile future broodstock were affected by floodwaters. The hatchery was depopulated of these fish appropriately in consultation with our fish health biologists and WV Department of Natural Resources.
The rainbow trout broodstock program provides eggs to Federal, State and Tribal governments for their fish stocking efforts. The Fish and Wildlife Service is assessing whether other federal and state hatcheries in the national broodstock program can provide eggs to meet the demand.
Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service sent a team to West Virginia to begin assessing damages to the facility. Damage estimates are not yet complete, and so the cost of repairing the facility is not yet known.
Crews are also beginning the process of shoveling and cleaning out mud and debris from the facility. The facility must be disinfected and cleaned before additional repairs can take place and fish can be raised.
The hatchery staff are working closely with their neighbors in West Virginia to begin rebuilding from this natural disaster.
Until more is known about the damages and cost estimates, there is no timeline for rehabilitation of the hatchery. However the Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to reopening and getting up to full operations as soon as we can.
White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery (WSSNFH) is located along the historic Midland Trail in the heart of the Allegheny Highlands of southeast West Virginia. Established in 1900 to produce fish for the American Public, WSSNFH became part of the National Broodstock Program in 1976. Since then hatchery personnel have shipped millions of disease-free rainbow trout eggs to hatcheries across the country. In 1995, the hatchery added a new program, freshwater mussel conservation. Today, we provide shelter for mussels threatened by pollution and raise baby mussels to improve wild populations.The Mission of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery is working with the community and our partners to be good stewards of both the environment and historical significance of White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery by providing recreational fishing opportunities, recovering fish, mussels and other wildlife and their habitats, and promoting awareness and appreciation of our cultural and natural resources for the benefit of all people.
White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery