Fish Health Center
Fisheries Resources
Pacific Region

Fish Health Program: Drug and Chemical Use


We follow best management practices that only use drugs as a last resort. When disease outbreaks occur at a hatchery, Fish Health Program staff may recommend drug treatments. Controlled use enhances drug application and determines its efficacy and safety in controlling diesase.  

Drug and chemical use in aquaculture is very tightly regulated by the FDA, EPA, USDA, state authorities, and in FWS policies on fish health and propagation. Our Fish Health Program also monitors use of chemotherapeutants and other drugs under the Service's Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) Program, coordinating permit issuance and reporting requirements. We send reports to the National Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (AADAP) Program and to other principal holders of INAD permits.

Only a few fish drugs are available. As part of the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Parternship (AADAP) Program, The Pacific Region Fish Health Program identifies and monitors the use of drugs and chemicals for the treatment of fish at state, federal, and tribal fish hatcheries in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Records are reviewed before, during and after treatments and forwarded to the AADAP office, working towards approving drugs and chemicals for use on aquaculture by FDA.

About Our Program

The veterinarians and biologists of the Pacific Region Fish Heath Program protect the health of salmon on Service and many tribal fish hatcheries, and also work to detect and mitigate disease problems in fish populations living in the wild. Historically the Pacific Region operated three Regional Fish Health Centers, but in 2017 the laboratory functions of these Centers were consolidated and collectively renamed the “Pacific Region Fish Health Program.” The program is managed by Dr. Andrew E. Goodwin.

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