Center Director's Message

Welcome to the Leetown Science Center, 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 four components: the Aquatic Ecology Branch, the Conte Anadromous Fish Branch, the Fish Health Branch, and the Northern Appalachian Research Branch.

Please send a message to me, or any other member of the Leetown Science Center, if we can provide any additional information.

Thomas J. O'Connell
Center Director

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Page Last Modified: December 2, 2010
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