The Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station is located in the heart of Idaho's aquaculture industry in the Magic Valley, which follows a 40-kilometer stretch of the Snake River. Most of Idaho's large commercial aquaculture operations are located in that area, and the close proximity of the research facility provides opportunities for industry partnerships in aquaculture research.
The genetics laboratory at the Aquaculture Research Institute concentrates its research on fisheries conservation and aquaculture species genetics. The laboratory contributes to the genetic information used in multidisciplinary approaches toward the restoration of endangered species.
The fish-rearing station houses a 5,500 square foot wet lab supplied with 1,200 gpm, 59 degree Fahrenheit, gravity-fed, first-use spring water. Water temperature and quality are constant year-round. The wet lab contains 160 38-gallon (150-liter) and 42 152-gallon (550-liter) tanks for conducting detailed experimentation, and 10 specialized tanks for feed digestibility studies. The facility also has equipment to heat or chill water and ozone to sterilize the effluent. Plans are being made to double the size of the wet lab and to add larger tanks suitable for raising groups of fish to maturity.
Experimental feeds can be prepared and analyzed on-site by compression pelleting and cold extrusion for small-scale studies. Larger quantities of feeds are produced at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center (USFWS) through a cooperative agreement between the center, University of Idaho and ARS. Extruded, flaked, and compressed-pelleted feeds can be produced, as can microparticles for larval feeds.