Majors & Programs

Fisheries Biology

Degrees Offered: BS Minor

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.