Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery Celebrates a Century of Conservation in South Carolina

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Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery Celebrates a Century of ConservationORANGEBURG, SC— Mules and pond scoops led the way with the first excavation work to build the Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery 100 years  ago this month. Today the hatchery is an integral part of the community in  Orangeburg, South Carolina, near Lakes Marion and Moultrie.  The U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service will host a public celebration at the hatchery on  Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 10 a.m. to rededicate the century-old  facility.
 
“It’s an honor to witness a huge milestone of one of the real gems in the  Service’s National Fish Hatchery System,” says Cindy Dohner, Southeast  Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “Orangeburg has  served a critical role in fisheries conservation in our Region, and its  good work will become even more critical in the century to come.”

Service representatives, other organizations and agencies, and the  community are invited to attend the free event, followed by a luncheon and  hatchery tours.  Students from a local elementary school will plant a  pollinator garden at the hatchery to commemorate the milestone.

Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery Celebrates a Century of ConservationOrangeburg National Fish Hatchery has adapted to serve the needs of  Americans throughout its long history.  When first established it provided  fish for subsistence, stocking local farm ponds and sending other fish by  railcar all across the county.  Today it works with endangered species,  including the shortnose sturgeon and freshwater mussels.  It also produces  fish for recreation, like striped bass, a popular sport fish. The hatchery  has made significant contributions to the area’s renowned fishing  opportunities.  The total economic impact of recreational fish production  at Orangeburg was more than $13.3 million in 2010, generating 127 jobs  throughout many industries, worth $3.3 million in wages.

“The hatchery has been here for 100 years, that shows you the value of  what we do.” says Willie Booker, who has been the hatchery’s manager for  the past 20 years.  “This hatchery and the work we do really mean a lot to  people.  I am proud to be a part of it.”

Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery is a popular destination for 20,000  visitors each year, offering innovative outdoor classrooms, a  nature-explore playground, trails, bird watching, a 100-acre lake and a  visitor center with aquarium. By hosting special events throughout the  year for youth, special needs groups and senior citizens, the hatchery  promotes the increased quality of life and conservation benefits provided  by healthy fisheries.  Orangeburg promotes the importance of connecting  people, especially children, to nature.

More information on the Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery is available on  its website at www.fws.gov/orangeburg.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others  to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their  habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  For more  information, visit www.fws.gov or http://www.fws.gov/southeast/. Connect  with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our  tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at  http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.