The Lamar Fish Health Center is part of the National Fish Hatchery System - a network of fish hatcheries, fish health centers, technology centers, and the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership program whose mission is to protect and restore recreational and commercial fisheries, protect the health of wild and hatchery-raised fish, and restore aquatic species that are in decline.
The Lamar Fish Health Center provides service to federal, tribal, state, and commercial fishery programs and partners. Three major areas of responsibility include: inspection testing services for hatchery facilities to facilitate annual health certifications; diagnostic assistance for chronic or acute health problems in cultured and wild stock; and the National Wild Fish Health Survey to detect, monitor and determine the distribution of fish pathogens in free-ranging fish populations.
The U.S. Congress authorized the Lamar Fish Culture Station in 1930. The station operated as a production hatchery raising largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, walley and muskelunge, bluegill, and brook trout for recreational fish stocking programs. The station later added developing and improving fish culture methods to its mission in 1966, and providing guidance to national, state and tribal fish hatcheries. In 1984, the facility was renamed the Northeast Fishery Center and added fish health expertise to the mission with the newly established Lamar Fish Health Center.