The Department’s Aquatic Research and Conservation Center (ARCC), located adjacent to the Bubbling Ponds Hatchery, holds refuge populations of imperiled native fish to prevent against catastrophic losses in the wild. To ensure our refuge populations accurately represent the genetic diversity of wild populations, wild fish are brought into the hatchery each year. Wild-caught fish may harbor a variety of pathogens and parasites that could threaten fish health of the whole hatchery. Thus, ARCC staff put all wild-caught fish through a nearly 40-day quarantine and treatment period. During this time we observe fish for signs of disease and proactively treat them with therapeutic chemicals to ensure we do not introduce any fish health troubles (such as pathogenic bacteria, “Ich”, or Asian tapeworm) into the refuge populations. With these techniques we keep refuge populations healthy and representative of the wild populations they protect. Currently, ARCC is holding refuge populations and offspring of Loach Minnow, Roundtail Chub, Spikedace, and Woundfin.
By Matt O’Neill, Research Branch