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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Conservation Fisheries, Inc.

Conservation Fisheries, Inc. (CFI) is a nonprofit in Knoxville “dedicated to the preservation of aquatic biodiversity in the Southeast U.S.” that works to conserve nongame fish through captive propagation, reintroduction, and low impact monitoring. CFI has been involved in the Tennessee State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) from the beginning.

CFI’s work began while Co-Directors J. R. Shute and Patrick Rakes were in graduate school at the University of Tennessee studying under the guidance of Dr. David Etnier. Their first joint project was attempting to restore two federally listed madtom catfish to Abrams Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park using source fish from nearby Citico Creek in the Cherokee National Forest.

Since 1986, the company has steadily grown and worked with additional species. CFI has now spawned and reared more than 70 species—many of which are SWAP-listed, as well as those of surrounding states throughout the Southeast and beyond!

The following (beginning at right) is a brief “visual tour” of some of the species that CFI has worked with, listed in chronological project order. In future, we hope to cover the stories of these species in more detail: where they’re found, why they are special and why they are rare, and what can be done to help bring them back. (All photos credited to CFI unless otherwise noted.)

View or download a CFI factsheet illustrated with photos of 20 of Tennessee's native fishes that have been helped by CFI.

View all recent projects

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