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Construction underway on Montana aquaculture R&D center

Sunday, June 1, 2003

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun construction on a 16,500-square-foot laboratory and administration building at the Fish Technology Center in Bozeman, Montana, U.S.. The $6.5 million project, expected to be completed in a year, will add laboratories, offices, conference rooms, a library, and a visitor’s center with aquaria and historic displays.

"Once completed, the new facility will provide better tools to accomplish scientific work with our partners to help solve regional and national aquatic resource issues," said Ralph Morgenweck, Regional Director. "It will support restoration and recovery of imperiled and endangered species, and improved quality for recreational fishing."

The lab space and equipment will facilitate analytical work and improved information exchange in the fields of inorganic/organic chemistry, physiology, nutrition, microbiology and genetics, enabling about 15 scientists and technicians to complete analyses of biological samples from fish culture, fish nutrition, fish feed manufacturing, and other studies for pallid and shovelnose sturgeon, cutthroat trout, Arctic grayling, razorback suckers (a Colorado River endangered fish), bull trout and rainbow trout.

The Fish Technology Center works in cooperation with Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State University, University of Idaho, U. S. Geological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, fish feed manufacturers and other partners.

For more information please contact Dr. Bill Krise, Center Director (406-587-9265, extension 123), or Greg Kindschi, Assistant Center Director (406-587-9265, extension 124).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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