The Fisheries Biology program is designed to produce graduates who can assess, develop and manage fish populations and fish habitats, as well as recreational and commercial fisheries. However, the program is broad enough to allow students to prepare for work in other areas such as fish population dynamics, systematics, marine and freshwater aquaculture, fish disease management, aquatic ecology, marine ecology, and water pollution.
Our undergraduate program is one of the largest and best in the United States. We have graduates working with most state Fish and Game agencies, most federal agencies dealing with fish, and with numerous private companies and consulting firms. Our program is the only fisheries management type program in California, and one of only a few west of the Rocky Mountains.
Specialized facilities are available for instruction and research. The HSU Fish Hatchery is located on campus. The hatchery has a recirculating freshwater system with incubators, troughs, fiberglass circular tanks, concrete circular tanks, and raceways. The HSU Marine Laboratory is located in Trinidad, 15 miles north of campus. The laboratory has classrooms and a recirculating seawater system suitable for rearing marine animals. A variety of intertidal and subtidal habitats are found nearby. Our Fish Museum houses a large collection (about 70,000 specimens) of preserved fish which are available for study and research. The collection is the fifth largest in California and the second largest at an educational institution. Our California Cooperative Fishery Research Unit is the only one of its kind in California. The Unit provides research support and facilities for undergraduate and graduate students. Our expanded and remodeled (1999) Wildlife and Fisheries Building has specialized laboratories for fish pathology, fish genetics, water quality, and aquatic ecology. The University operates a large 90-foot vessel equipped with modern oceanographic instrumentation and fisheries gear for offshore and coastal work. A 26-foot pontoon boat and an array of smaller vessels are available for instruction and research in local bays and estuaries. The Department operates an electro-fishing boat for sampling fish in freshwater.
We are fortunate to have strong supporting programs in the closely allied fields of environmental engineering, oceanography, biology, watershed management, wildlife management, and mathematics. This allows students to easily develop specialized programs to meet individual needs. Fisheries Biology is an excellent program for those seeking an intellectually challenging, broad educational background.
Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Fisheries Biology — concentrations available in Freshwater Fisheries and Marine Fisheries Minor in Fisheries Biology
The Program Students completing this program will have demonstrated the ability to:
provide a description of how physical and biological factors of aquatic ecosystems determine the distribution and abundance of fish populations and pose testable hypotheses and experiments to identify specific factors that constrain population growth or distribution
select and implement basic data collection protocols appropriate for characterizing status of fish communities, including assessment of species composition, abundance, and population structure (age, size, genetic)
convey scientific concepts in written, oral, and visual communication formats, including following basic guidelines for format and structure of scientific reports, papers, or presentations
describe and explain how fisheries management problems can be expressed as quantitative models, produce useful tabular and graphic summaries of quantitative data, and conduct simple tests of statistical hypotheses
describe the scientific, legal, political, and social factors that determine goals for fisheries management and conservation, and to identify appropriate management strategies that can be used to achieve these goals
critically evaluate their own fisheries work as well as fisheries data, information, and conclusions reported in published peer-reviewed literature, unpublished technical reports, and popular media.
The overall goal of the Fisheries Biology Program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and motivation required to ensure the conservation of fish and aquatic resources that are faced with increasing societal demands and increasing loss of habitat. We stress development of a fieldbased understanding of the relationships between freshwater and marine fishes and the habitats upon which they depend, but our program is broad enough to provide specialized training in fish population dynamics and fishery management, restoration ecology, systematics, marine and freshwater aquaculture, fish health management, water pollution biology, and wastewater utilization. Each of these areas has its own important role to play in the overall conservation of fish resources. Fisheries Biology students have on-campus facilities for hands-on studies: a recirculating freshwater fish hatchery, rearing ponds, spawning pens, and modern laboratories for study of fish genetics, pathology, taxonomy, ecology, and age and growth. Also on campus is the California Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, supported by both state and federal government, and a large fish museum collection. Off campus, students take classes and carry out research projects at the university’s marine laboratory in Trinidad, about 12 miles north of campus. A 90’ university-owned ocean-going vessel, docked in Eureka, is available for classes and for faculty and graduate student research in nearshore ocean waters. Numerous small boats and a specialized electrofishing boat are available for instruction and research in local bays, lagoons and estuaries. Our graduates may qualify for certification by the American Fisheries Society as Associate Fisheries Scientists, and many continue their education after HSU, receiving MS or Ph.D. degrees in fisheries biology or other closely related fields.
Shared Requirements for Freshwater Fisheries and Marine Fisheries Concentrations
BIOL 105 (4) Principles of Biology
CHEM 107 (4) Fundamentals of Chemistry
CHEM 128 (3) Introduction to Organic Chemistry
FISH 260 (3) Fish Conservation & Mgmt.
MATH 105 (3) Calculus for the Biological Sciences & Natural Resources
STAT 109 (4) Introductory Biostatistics
ZOOL 110 (4) Introductory Zoology
FISH 220 (3) Water Resources & Conservation [Freshwater Fisheries], or
OCN 109 (3) General Oceanography and
OCN 109L (1) General Oceanography Lab [Marine Fisheries] Upper Division
BIOL 330 (4) Principles of Ecology
FISH 310 (4) Ichthyology
FISH 314 (3) Fishery Science Communication
FISH 380 (3) Techniques in Fishery Biology
FISH 460 (3) Adv. Fish Conservation & Management
FISH 474 (4) Conservation Genetics of Fish and Wildlife One quantitative course from:
FISH 458/FISH 558 (4) Fish Population Dynamics
STAT 333 (4) Linear Regression Models/ANOVA STAT 404/
STAT 504 (4) Multivariate Statistics
STAT 406 (4) Sampling Design & Analysis
Marine Fisheries Concentration Core courses plus:
FISH 335 (3) US & World Fisheries
FISH 375 (3) Mariculture
FISH 435 (4) Ecology of Marine Fish
ZOOL 314 (5) Invertebrate Zoology Approved Electives* (9 units required, General Education classes may not be used as approved electives).
Include at least two from the following:
FISH 370 (3) Aquaculture
FISH 410/FISH 510 (3) Topics in Advanced Ichthyology
FISH 434 (4) Ecology of Freshwater Fish
FISH 458/FISH 558 (4) Fish Population Dynamics
FISH 471 (3) Fish Diseases
FISH 571 (3) Advanced Fish Disease & Pathology