Conte Anadromous Fish Branch
With their unique life histories, anadromous fishes require special consideration in understanding their biology and developing management strategies. During the Industrial Revolution, many populations of anadromous fishes were severely depleted or extirpated by damming, pollution or alteration of their migratory or spawning habitats. Some measures were taken in the late 1880s to provide access for anadromous fishes around dams by construction of rudimentary fishways, or by stocking fish into habitats that historically supported large runs. However, without a complete understanding of the ecology, life history and environmental needs of these species, many of these efforts failed to restore naturally reproducing populations within their original ranges. With the passage of the Anadromous Fish Conservation Act of 1965, the federal government took an active role in assisting states in their anadromous fish enhancement efforts. However, the need for information about anadromous fish biology and ecology continues, and is critical to the success of these programs. The S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Branch (CAFB) has been charged to meet this need to perform research directed towards restoration and protection of anadromous fishes. In recent years fishery agency needs have expanded to include provision of fish passage facilities for many riverine species. CAFB has expanded its mission to include work on any riverine migratory species.