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A welcome sign that reads Warm Springs Regional Fisheries Center, National Fish Hatchery, Fish Health Lab, Fish Technology Center
Information icon Welcome to the Warm Springs Regional Fisheries Center. Photo by USFWS.

Warm Springs Fish Technology Center

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Technology Centers (FTC) provide leadership in science-based management of aquatic resources through the development of new concepts, strategies, technologies and techniques to solve problems and develop innovative efficiencies for hatchery operations and for aquatic resource conservation.

FTCs were established in 1984 by the Service to provide technical and scientific leadership and guidance to the fish culture community. The Warm Springs Fish Technology Center (WSFTC) was established in 1993, to strengthen fish culture and fish management-related technology development within the Southeast and support other program areas through outreach. Since its inception, the WSFTC has continued to support the wide array of aquatic resource needs in the South Atlantic-Gulf and Mississippi Basin regions and the nation. The WSFTC is comprised of a cryopreservation laboratory, conservation genetics laboratory, and the National Fish Strain Registry at Warm Springs, Georgia.

Conservation genetics

The Conservation Genetics lab primarily works with federal and state biologists and managers in the Southeast and the research community to design and implement genetics research on imperiled aquatic organisms. Current projects include estimating genetic diversity of Gulf Coast striped bass, sicklefin redhorse, numerous freshwater mussels, and threatened and endangered species such as the spotfin chub and the round rocksnail. In 2018, the Conservation Genetics Laboratory was moved to Auburn University to take advantage of the university setting.

Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation is a process in which a living cell is carefully frozen, stored, and thawed and remains viable. Cryopreserved sperm can conserve genetic diversity and assist in reproductive efforts by allowing spawning to take place whenever females are ready, reduces the need to hold males, and can increase flexibility and genetic diversity in spawning protocols. Currently, the WSFTC is working on numerous threatened or endangered fish species, and is expanding its cryopreservation research to include other aquatic species such as freshwater mussels and amphibians) for conservation efforts.

National Fish Strain Registry

The National Fish Strain Registry (NFSR) is a broad collaborative program that provides access to data and information on our nation’s aquatic resources. The database houses information on life history, genetics, reproduction, and behavior of wild populations and domestic fish strains throughout the United States. The NFSR database is available for use by public and private producers as well as resource managers of federal, state, and tribal governments through a registration process.

Goals

  • Provide management support of inter-jurisdictional coastal and riverine fishes, such as robust redhorse, shortnose sturgeon, Gulf sturgeon, and Gulf striped bass.
  • Provide conservation genetics support for regional fishery programs.
  • Maintain the registry for support of private, state and federal broodstocks.
  • Develop cryopreservation techniques for imperiled fish, amphibians, and mussels.
  • Develop hatchery product evaluation techniques.

Hours of operation

7:30 - 4:00 pm Monday - Friday

Service area

The Warm Springs FTC primarily services the South Atlantic-Gulf and Mississippi Basin regions, but also works throughout the entire country.

Contact

William Wayman, Center Director
Warm Springs Fish Technology Center
5308 Spring Street
Warm Springs, GA 31830
Phone: (706) 655-3382
Fax: (706) 655-3389
E-mail: william_wayman@fws.gov

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