What is Conservation Fisheries?


   Conservation Fisheries is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Founded in 1986 and incorporated in 1992, CFI is dedicated to the preservation of aquatic biodiversity in our streams and rivers. Over nearly 30 years we have developed techniques to propagate more than 65 nongame fish, including some of the most imperiled species in the southeastern United States.  We were the first facility in the Southeast to propagate rare, non-game fishes for recovery work.

Our primary goal is to restore fish populations that have been eliminated because of pollution or habitat destruction. However, we also produce many rare or difficult-to-collect species for other purposes related to aquatic conservation. For instance, large numbers of fish or eggs or larvae have been provided for toxicity testing to develop and refine water quality standards for our rivers and streams. We have also produced several species to be used as host fish for production of rare freshwater mussels at other propagation facilities. Use of propagated fish minimizes the impacts on wild populations of fish.

CFI is also widely recognized for specializing in non-invasive monitoring of the status of populations of rare fishes in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia, primarily by snorkeling.