Leetown Science Center is the oldest Federal Fishery research facility. Established in 1931, the Center applies expertise from a broad diversity of scientific disciplines to conduct integrated research programs addressing the high priority needs of natural resource managers and public policy makers. Examples of current, major research programs include:
- Impacts of dams and barriers, pollution, and human development on migrating fish.
- Methods for the detection, control and prevention of fish diseases.
- Determining the key environmental factors responsible for the distribution and abundance - or decline - of aquatic species.
- Genetic diversity and the maintenance of genetic diversity in wild populations.
- Restoration ecology, including effective rearing methods, for trust, threatened, endangered and other priority species.
- Development of water recycling technologies to reduce energy requirements, water consumption and potential pollution from hatcheries and other aquaculture facilities.
- The effects of environmental factors on the physiology, pathology, biochemistry, behavior and ecology of aquatic organisms.
- Identification of fish populations by genetic structure.
- Development of suitable habitat criteria to address problems caused by environmental conditions, alterations in land-use, over-fishing, pollutants, exotic species and other disturbances of aquatic communities.
Headquartered in Leetown, West Virginia, Leetown Science Center research is conducted at six components: the Aquatic Ecology Branch, the Conte Anadromous Fish Branch, the Fish Health Branch, the Northern Appalachian Research Branch, and the Southern Appalachian Research Branch.