KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Conservation Fisheries (CFI), a non-profit, has been preserving and restoring aquatic biodiversity in our stream for over 35 years. The organization operates a fish hatchery in Knoxville to produce non-game fish like darters and minnows, which are listed as threatened or Endangered by the State or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

CFI has been working to restore native fish to streams since 1986. Since their work began, they have worked with nearly 80 species of North American fish to help State and Federal partners across the eastern United States to help preserve and protect these species.

Conservation Fisheries work is critical, considering that the Southeastern U.S. has more varieties of freshwater fish, like mussels, salamanders, and crayfish, than anywhere else in the temperature world. Unfortunately, many of these species are under threat, according to the organization.

According to CFI, aquatic biodiversity is an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. A healthy ecosystem impacts our drinking water, food production, and recreation. If the streams do not support native fish, they will have problems supporting human uses.

That’s why education is at the forefront for CFI. Their aim is to provide knowledge to school groups, university volunteers, and interns.

Conservation Fisheries is holding a fundraiser event called “Save the Fish.” It will be a live music event on April 29th. Their hope is to raise funds to help grow their facility and increase their ability to conserve these incredible species. The event will even showcase Albright Grove and various musicians.

To learn more about how the non-profit preserves aquatic biodiversity for over 35 years, and how you can help support their causes, click here.