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Private John Allen

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									               U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


           Private John Allen
           National Fish Hatchery
                                                Photos (top to bottom)                      Hatchery Objectives
                                                Hatchery sign.                              ■ Continue restoring depleted
                                                                                              populations of Gulf Coast Striped
                                                Phase II striped bass awaiting                Bass.
                                                transport to Appalchicola River
                                                Basin, Florida.                             ■   Develop spawning and rearing
                                                                                                techniques for alligator gar. Assist
photo: USFWS




                                                Paddlefish brood stock collection.               in the reintroduction of this species
                                                Weighing and tagging a 40 pound                 to several areas in the Southeast
                                                female.                                         United States.
                                                Annual fishing rodeo for seven- to           ■   Provide fish for recreational fishing
                                                twelve-year olds.                               programs on national wildlife
                                                Hatchery Facts                                  refuges and tribal lands.
                                                ■ Established: 1901.                        ■   Continue in assisting with
                                                ■   The hatchery was originally named           educational outreach programs
                                                    the Tupelo National Fish Hatchery.          that promote the Service mission
                                                                                                and further national conservation
photo: USFWS




                                                ■   The hatchery receives its water             efforts.
                                                    from three wells located on station
                                                    grounds that are fed by a natural       ■   Continue developing culture
                                                    spring.                                     and evaluation techniques that
                                                                                                will assist in restoring depleted
                                                ■   Current programs involve the                populations of Gulf Coast Walleye
                                                    restoration of interjurisdictional          in the Tombigbee River Basin.
                                                    fishes (paddlefish, sturgeon
                                                    and alligator gar); recovery of         ■   Continue the development of
                                                    endangered and threatened species;          culture techniques and assist with
                                                    restoration of Gulf Coast Striped           restoration efforts for paddlefish.
                                                    Bass populations; restoration of        ■   Develop culture and evaluation
                                                    gulf coast walleye in the Tennessee-        techniques for lake sturgeon in the
                                                    Tombigbee Waterway to achieve
photo: USFWS




                                                                                                Tennessee River System.
                                                    self-sustaining populations and
                                                    fishery management and stocking          Average Production
                                                    recreational fish on national wildlife   ■ 200,000 Phase I (one-two inch)
                                                    refuges.                                  Gulf Coast Striped Bass; 30,000
                                                                                              Phase II (six-eight inch) Gulf Coast
                                                ■   The hatchery consists of 25               Striped Bass; 40,000 paddlefish;
                                                    acres, 14 earthen ponds and one           150,000 walleye; approximately
                                                    lined pond, a hatching/rearing            500,000 largemouth bass and/or
                                                    building, administrative offices, and      bluegill as needed for National
                                                    maintenance buildings.                    Wildlife Refuge programs; 4,000
photo: USFWS




                                                ■   Only Federal fish hatchery in the          lake sturgeon.
                                                    state of Mississippi. Because of        Public Use Opportunities
                                                    the hatchery’s excellent water          ■ The station is home to the Tupelo
                                                    supply that maintains a 63                Garden Club which uses the historic
           Ricky Campbell, Hatchery Manager         degree temperature year round,
           Private John Allen                                                                 manager’s residence and the
                                                    this hatchery has the ability of          hatchery grounds to hold much of
           National Fish Hatchery                   spawning and rearing such species
           P.O. Box 7317                                                                      the city’s social functions.
                                                    as paddlefish, sturgeon, walleye,
           111 Elizabeth Street                     and striped bass.                       ■   Tupelo is now one of the top
           Tupelo, MS 38802                                                                     five major cities in the state of
           Phone: 662/842 1341                  ■   Three person staff.
           Fax: 662/842 3215
           E-mail: FW4FRPrivateJohnAllen@fws.   ■   25-30 volunteers and summer
           gov                                      employees.
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    Mississippi based on population and    can provide fish for private ponds.
    industry. The hatchery is regarded
    by the public and visitors as being    What kind of fish do we raise?
    one of the major tourist attractions   Pvt. John Allen National Fish
    in town. The hatchery hosts over       Hatchery raises nine species of fish.
    30,000 visitors annually.              This includes paddlefish, alligator
                                           gar, striped bass, walleye, largemouth
■   The hatchery also operates             bass, redear sunfish, bluegill bream,
    an elaborate mobile aquarium           channel catfish, and lake sturgeon.
    manned by station personnel that
    is constantly in demand by area        The paddlefish and alligator gar are
    schools and conservation agencies      raised to restore depleted populations
    throughout the summer months.          in the Lower Mississippi River
    It has been viewed by as many          Basin. The striped bass are raised
    as 5,000 school children in one        as part of the Gulf Coast Striped
    weekend and as high as 35,000 in       Bass Recovery Plan. The walleye are
    one summer. It has served as an        raised for restoration stocking in the
    outdoor classroom many times           Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The
    while being presented by hatchery      largemouth bass, bluegilll, redear
    personnel.                             sunfish, and channel catfish are raised
                                           to enhance recreational fishing on
■   Special activities are held during     national wildlife refuges as needed.
    National Fishing Week, Earth Day,      The lake sturgeon are raised for
    and during several local festivals     restoration purposes on the upper
    throughout the year.                   Tennessee River in Tennessee.
■   The hatchery hosts a Watchable         How do we capture large brood fish
    Wildlife viewing area.                 such as paddlefish and alligator gar?
                                           These large fish are captured by using
■   The hatchery is listed as one of the   150 ft. and 300 ft. gill nets. The nets
    major birdwatching areas by the        are set free-floating in the water and
    Audubon Society.                       capture any fish that is unable to swim
Questions and Answers                      through the six inch mesh.
How big do alligator gar get and what      The nets are set late in the evening
do they eat?                               and checked on the hour throughout
Alligator gar can reach lengths up         the night to ensure the safety of
to 10 feet long and weigh over 300         these large creatures. They are then
pounds. The female brood fish at this       transported in specially designed
station are all in excess of 130 pounds.   circular tanks.
The joint behind the gar’s skull allows
it to make nodding head movements
much like an alligator. This allows the
fish to eat large prey such as small
mammals and large fish up to five
pounds. Adult alligator gar can eat a
whole beef heart at a time, but they
need times of fasting. The largest
gar taken by an angler weighed 279
pounds and was nearly 10 feet long.
Do we sell fish?
Although once a primary role of the
National Fish Hatchery System, the
farm pond program is no longer a
responsibility of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. In 1989, the farm
pond program was officially ended,
and hatchery production was shifted
more to threatened/endangered
species and the restoration of fisheries
population in public waters.
A list is available at the hatchery of
local and statewide fish farmers that

								
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