Since the 1960s, Abernathy has had a Fish Feed Quality Control (FFQC) program for the hatcheries in the Pacific and Pacific Southwest Regions. Inspections are done at the feed mills when open formula feeds are made and if there is a feed problem at a hatchery, that feed is analyzed at Abernathy. Otherwise, feeds are sampled quarterly at all the Pacific and Southwest Pacific Regions National Fish Hatcheries (NFH). The objective of the FFQC program is to ensure the commercial fish feeds used by NFHs in the Pacific and Pacific Southwest regions are of good quality and meet specifications by determining the general chemical composition (in terms of proximate analysis: protein, lipid, ash, moisture) and checking rancidity indicators. If needed, vitamin and mineral content of the feed is also tested. Interpretation of the results is provided to the hatchery, FWS's fish health office and to the feed company. Once feed quality issues are observed corrective measures are taken. Problems encountered have included protein, too low; lipid, both too high and too low; rancid feed; melamine contamination; old feed shipped to the hatchery; bag weights too light; and incorrect pellet size.

Facilities

Located on the Columbia River, Abernathy FTC provides technical assistance in natural resource conservation to the FWS and its partners primarily in the western U.S.