The Freshwater Institute partnered with Four Peaks Environmental Science & Data Solutions to complete the facility assessments and provide modernization recommendations for each hatchery. At each facility, the water sources, piping distributions systems, fish rearing equipment and buildings, influent water treatment and effluent treatment infrastructure were evaluated. Our experts worked closely with the hatchery staff to determine the facility-specific program needs and potential areas for improvements. The goal was to maximize the current facility infrastructure and footprint and provide solutions to challenges the hatchery was currently facing.

The hatcheries evaluated were Lahontan National Fish Hatchery, San Marcos Aquatic Research Center, Neosho National Fish Hatchery, Saratoga National Fish Hatchery, and Dwight D. Eisenhower National Fish Hatchery. Each facility was rearing different species with different conservation and mitigation goals, but all had similar concerns for water resiliency, flexible rearing space, biosecurity, and data management. Once all five site assessments were completed, a final modernization plan was developed to summarize overarching themes, challenges, and recommendations. The Freshwater Institute provided expertise through technical and biological review, program planning, and concept-level design to address specific issues for improvement.


The goals of USFWS are to recover federally designated threatened or endangered species, restore imperiled species, improve recreational fishing and public use of aquatic resources, and fulfill tribal partnerships and trust responsibilities. Increasing demands on limited water resources, changing environmental conditions, and aging infrastructure jeopardize many hatcheries ability to meet those goals. This project created a framework for USFWS and all hatcheries to overcome their unique conservation and recreation challenges. The Freshwater Institute makes it a priority to share our knowledge and technical expertise and support the recovery and conservation of species across the U.S.