Open house at Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery
A cool October day welcomed visitors to the annual Open House held at the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery in Georgia on Saturday, Oct. 14. The event was sponsored by the fisheries programs on site: the National Fish Hatchery, Fish Technology Center, and the Fish Health Center.
Staff members and volunteers provided about 150 visitors with information on projects underway at Warm Springs and answered questions through the day. Members of the hatchery’s volunteer support group, Friends in Support of the Hatchery, were also there to welcome visitors and provide refreshments.
The open house focused on promoting the Service’s mission and aquatic species conservation efforts, improving communications with the local community, and encouraging people to become environmental stewards.
Activity stations around the aquarium included a welcome tent, kids’ coloring station, and several tables that showcased fish and aquatic species. Visitors were able to view field gear, tagging equipment, and posters for several species including lake sturgeon, freshwater mussels, sicklefin redhorse, alligator gar, and striped bass. Visitors also had a chance to check out the field and distribution equipment that is used in hatchery operations, including trailers, hauling tanks, and electrofishing boats.
The Fish Technology Center featured its Cryopreservation Lab, Conservation Genetics Lab, and the National Fish Strain Registry. Staff members showed participants various pieces of laboratory equipment used to conduct scientific research. The Fish Health Center had microscopes that allowed visitors to view all the creepy-crawlies (viruses, bacteria, and parasites) that are sometimes found on fish and aquatic species. staff members also discussed how they detect and track diseases of wild fish using the Wild Fish Health Survey.