What We Do
Our staff work together to monitor aquatic native and
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.
Learn more about invasive species populations, ensure the health of hatchery-reared fish, monitor health in wild fish populations and use leading edge genetics technology for early detection and monitoring of invasive carp.
Key initiatives include:
- Management and control plan for bighead, black, grass and silver carp in the United States
- National Fish Habitat Action Plan
- National Fish Passage Partnership
- National Aquatic Animal Health Plan
- National Wild Fish Health Survey
- Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The Midwest Fisheries Center houses the La Crosse Fish Health Center, the La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, the Whitney Genetics Laboratory, and administrative, GIS, and outreach staff, as well as the Regional Watercraft Safety Coordinator.
Staff at the Midwest Fisheries Center are involved in a number of applied research, fisheries management, and monitoring projects. These include aquatic animal pathogen diagnostics and health monitoring, invasive carp environmental DNA early detection and monitoring, native aquatic species genetics projects, GIS and telemetry projects, and management of native fish, mussels and invasive carp conducted in partnership with state natural resource agencies, tribes, universities and other federal partners including the U. S. Geological Survey and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Our lobby features informational displays describing local aquatic wildlife, our scientific research, conservation efforts, a Mississippi River mural, and an aquarium of local native fish. The lobby is open to the public. Our laboratories and other work areas are not generally open for tours so we encourage visitors to email or call to pre-arrange a tour.
The Midwest Fisheries Center offers environmental education activities for community groups and schools. In addition, the center can lend fishing poles to local community groups. Every July, the center co-sponsors Youth Outdoor Fest in La Crosse, Wisconsin in partnership with the La Crosse Parks, Recreation, and Forestry department.