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Distribution Module

8.1. General Rules

How do I run a Distribution Module report?

To produce Distribution Reports, navigate to the FIS Reports Module, where you may run a Distribution Ad Hoc report or choose from several standard report options.

8.1.1. What is the purpose of the Distribution Module?

The purpose of the Distribution Module is to record information related to annual distributions of fish, fish eggs and other organisms from National Fish Hatchery System facilities. The Distributions Module captures detailed information about species released into the wild or transferred to other facilities and enables fast access to National and Regional summary reports by species, taxon, and other search criteria. The Distribution Module provides a useful and efficient tool for recording and reporting distribution information, thereby enhancing the overall accountability of the National Fish Hatchery System. 

8.1.2. What is a Distribution?

A distribution is defined as the intentional movement of one or more aquatic organisms from a National Fish Hatchery System facility, with the movement to a wild location in the environment being a release, and the movement to another facility for various purposes being a transfer.

A distribution record should consist of a single lot number. It should describe a single species and strain distributed on a unique date to a unique location. Distribution records should not be "lumped" to include multiple locations and distribution dates in a single distribution record.

8.2. Distribution Module Home Page

8.2.1. How do I view or edit an existing Distribution Record?

To view, edit, or duplicate one or many existing Distribution Records, use the search tool on the Distribution Module Home Page to quickly find existing records for your Station.

To isolate a sub-set of your Station's Distribution Records to work with, you may filter existing records by species, date, date range, life stage, or by selecting one or more accomplishment records.

Note: You may “edit” a current fiscal year record only. You may not edit a previous year's record. However, you may duplicate a previous year's record and then edit it as a current year record. (Once a record is duplicated, the date field will become blank). If you find a data entry error on a record, contact your Regional FIS Coordinator.

Search results are displayed in a table

8.2.2 How do I duplicate an existing Distribution Record?

To duplicate an existing record, first find the record or group of records using the search tool on the Distribution Module Home Page. (see Distribution Search Results Page 8.3)

8.2.3 How do I create a new Distribution Record?

To create a new Distribution Record, you may duplicate an existing record (then edit it) or create a new Distribution Record by selecting the “Create a new distribution” link.

8.3. Distribution Search Results page

8.3.1. From the Search Results Table, how do I edit or duplicate records?

Search results are displayed in a table (Click on “Convert” to toggle between metric and English units). From this table you may:

  1. Select “edit” to go to the record to edit an individual distribution. Note: You may edit a current fiscal year record only. You may not edit a previous year's record. However, you may duplicate a previous year's record and then edit it as a current year record. (Once a record is duplicated, the date field will become blank).
  2. Remain in “table view” to quickly edit date distributed, lot #, quantity, length & weight for current year records. To edit records, select the records in the “Update” column, edit the desired fields, then click on the “Update” button at the bottom of the screen to save your updates.
  3. Duplicate a record or multiple records by clicking on "Select Records to Duplicate." This will take you to a new screen, where you may select one or many records to duplicate. Once records are duplicated, you may edit them in either table or individual record views. Duplicated records will have a blank date field.

Note:  Your results will be displayed in separate tables for each life stage, so you must click “Select Records to Duplicate” at the top of each table.

Alternatively, you may select “edit” to view an individual record and then select “duplicate” at the top of the screen. The date field will be blank in the duplicated record.

8.4. Create a New Distribution page.

8.4.1. How do I create a new distribution?

  • Choose the taxonomic group of the species being distributed from a drop-down list that includes fish, amphibians, arthropods, mollusks, reptiles, and plants.
  • Then choose a life stage:
    • Egg
    • Juvenile – Includes all life stage between egg and adult (e.g. fry, fingerling)
    • Adult – Adults are generally defined by sexual maturity (however, this may vary by species/management program).
  • Then choose the Accomplishment Record from the drop-down list of your Station’s Accomplishments that corresponds with the distribution.

Important: All distributions must be linked to an Accomplishment Record. Make sure the respective Accomplishment Record adequately describes the stocking program of the distribution record.

8.4.2. Why do I need to choose an Accomplishment Record for a Distribution and what if there is no Accomplishment Record that corresponds with my Distribution?

All distributions must be linked to an Accomplishment Record. The Accomplishment Record provides the broader management context for the distribution information you are providing. For example, the Accomplishment Record includes the Strategic Plan goal, Plan and Task information, Partner information, Funding information, etc. Linking to an Accomplishment Records eliminates the need to re-enter this information as part of multiple Distribution Records. Multiple Distribution Records may reference the same Accomplishment Record, as appropriate.

If a corresponding or “parent” Accomplishment Record does not exist for the Distribution, you will need to navigate to the Accomplishment Module and create one. An Accomplishment Record should exist for all work conducted at a field station.

8.5.  Distribution Record Home Page (Adult / Juvenile / Egg)

The Home Page for an individual distribution record contains several “Channels” with specific information about the distribution. Channels include: Summary, Details, Location, Marks, Station Specific Info, and Plans / Tasks. Depending on the life stage and taxonomic group, the Channels you view and/or fields in the channels may vary. Expand each Channel to enter details.

8.5.1. Summary Channel

8.5.1.1 What Summary Information do I need to provide when creating a Distribution Record?

Date: Provide the date of distribution in the following format: YYYY-MM-D

Lot Number: Enter the lot number associated with this distribution. The lot number consists of the Species, Strain (Wild or Domestic), Year-class Designator, Egg Source Designator, and Sub-lot Designator, as applicable.

Example: RBT-ARD-05-ENN

(Species: Rainbow Trout – Strain: Arlee Domestic – Year Class: 2005 – Egg Source Designator: Ennis)

8.5.1.2 What is a Lot Number?

Lot Number - The Service's Fish Lot Designation System was established as policy on October 10, 1989, and is still in effect (USFWS Manual: 712 FW 2, Lot Designation System). This policy describes and standardizes how fish lots are designated and tracked. The tracking part of the policy is implemented through the Fish and Fish Egg Distribution Modules of FIS. The lot number consists of the Species, Strain (Wild or Domestic), Year-class Designator, Egg Source Designator, and Sub-lot Designator, as applicable.

Example: RBT-ARD-05-ENN

Species: Rainbow Trout – Strain: Arlee Domestic – Year Class: 2005 – Egg Source Designator: Ennis)

8.5.2. Details Channel

8.5.2.1 What Distribution Details do I need to provide when creating a Distribution Record?

Species – Choose a species from the drop-down list. The list comes from your Station’s Species List in the Station Profile Module. If the species that you are distributing is not in the drop-down list, go to the Station Profile Module and add it.

Population – Choose a wild population, if applicable. Populations (from the FIS Populations Module) are displayed in the drop-down list, based on the species entered. If the Distribution is for restoration or recovery, choose the wild population you are distributing.

Strain – Choose the appropriate male and female strain, as applicable. Strains of the species chosen are displayed in the drop-down list.

Important: If the Distribution is for restoration or recovery, and no strain name is used for hatchery management purposes (instead, the wild population name is used), then it is not necessary to choose a strain name.

Note: If the hatchery strain you are looking for is not listed for the species you have referenced, contact your Regional FIS Coordinator to add a strain name. In addition, contact your Regional FIS Coordinator if there are hatchery strains that no longer exist and should be deactivated in FIS. If a population needs to be added to FIS, contact your Regional FIS Coordinator.

Quantity – Enter the total number of organisms distributed.

8.5.2.2.  What additional information (Distribution Details) is required for Juvenile and Adult Life Stages only? (not eggs):

Weight – Enter the total weight (English or Metric) of organisms distributed.

Length – The length field will automatically fill in if a condition factor is present.  

Condition Factor – A condition factor is associated with most fish species in the FIS Species File and this default value will auto-fill. The condition factor, along with quantity and weight will automatically calculate the average length.

Condition Factor Override – You may type in a condition factor to override the default value. Alternatively, you may enter an average length and calculate a new condition factor.

8.5.2.3 What unit should be used to record weight and length?

Units of weight and length may be entered in either the Metric or English systems. Information entered in either format will be displayed in both.

8.5.3. Location Channel

8.5.3.1 What Location information do I need to provide when creating a Distribution Record?

Choose the type of distribution site:

  • Release Sites are distribution locations in the wild. Fish are typically released into a body of water for the purpose of restoration, recovery, or mitigation.
  • Transfer Sites include hatcheries, aquaria, academia, FTCs or FHCs (includes ponds at these facilities). Fish are typically transferred to facilities for grow-out, research, outreach, etc.

Choose one of the Distribution Locations shown on the Google Map. The locations displayed are your Station’s Distribution Locations from the Station Profile Module).

  • Place your pointer over the desired distribution location and “select” that location. Remember to “save” before leaving this page.
  • If you don't see the location you are looking for, you may go to the Station Profile Module and add a location. Note:  Always Search for distribution sites to add to this station first, to avoid duplicate site entries (another station may have already added the site to FIS). 

8.5.4. Station Specific Information Channel

8.5.4.1 What is the “Station Specific Information” channel?

The fields in this channel are provided for Station use. This channel and all of its field are optional. You may use these fields to record any additional information about the distribution.

  • Numeric Fields: Three numeric fields are provided. Any integer or floating point number may be entered.
  • Text Fields: Three text fields are provided. Any text section up to 750 characters may be entered.

8.5.5. Plan / Task Channel

8.5.5.1 Why do I need to provide information on Plans and Tasks (since this information was already provided in the corresponding Accomplishment Record)?

Note:  This channel does not require new plan data entry.  Simply check relevant information.  This information is important, because it links your distribution to a Plan Type for reporting purposes.  For example, distributions associated with plan type: Mitigation roll up to tally all distributions conducted for mitigation.  Similarly, distributions associated with plan type: Recovery roll up to tally all distributions conducted for recovery.

The Plans and Tasks displayed come from the Accomplishment Record referenced for this Distribution. The purpose of displaying this information is to allow selection of all, or a sub-set, of Plans and Tasks that specifically apply to this Distribution.  

  1. Select any of the listed plans (from the accomplishment project you chose) that you wish associate with this distribution.
  2. Select any of the listed tasks shown that you wish to associate with this distribution.

8.5.6. Strategic Plan

Why is a Strategic Plan Goal displayed and where did this information come from?

The Strategic Plan Goal displayed comes from the Accomplishment Record referenced for this Distribution.

IMPORTANT:  It is important to ensure that the strategic plan goal is consistent with the purpose of the distribution.  This will affect how distribution information rolls up under the strategic plan. 

To change the Strategic Plan Goal for this Distribution, navigate to the Accomplishment Module and edit the goal selected in relevant project. The Strategic Plan Goal may not be edited in the Distributions Module.

8.5.7. Marks Channel

8.5.7.1 What is the purpose of the Marks Channel?

The purpose of this Channel is to record the number of fish (or other animals) in a distribution that were marked. This channel allow you to describe more than one type of mark (e.g. 1000 marked with CWTs, 500 marked with spaghetti anchor tags, etc.).

For a given distribution, the “Marks” channel records the total number of fish marked (broken down by tag type).

8.5.7.2 How do I record mark information for this distribution?

You may record multiple mark types for a single distribution record. One mark type at a time is entered.

To enter information about the first mark:

  • Mark Type - Enter the mark type for the first mark type used. (Additional fields may appear requesting additional information for some mark types).
  • Location - Indicate the location on the body or fins where the mark was placed. Choose “whole body” for chemical batch marking.
  • Color - If applicable, enter the color of the tag.
  • Quantity - Enter the total number of fish tagged with the selected tag type for this distribution.
  • Tag Retention (optional) – You may enter % tag retention related to the tag type and application.

Click “Save” to save the mark information you have entered. A summary of the mark information you entered will appear at the top of the form.

To enter information about additional marks:

Start with “Mark Type” and enter information related to a second mark, as above. Save the information. A second line will appear in the mark summary information at the top of the page.

Continue in the manner until all marks have been described.

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