Marie Head works long hours monitoring conditions and tending to the fish at the Claude Peteet Mariculture Center in Gulf Shores. She shares on-call duties on weekends and holidays for a facility that requires constant attention. Being a biologist’s aide isn’t a high-paying job, either.

And there’s nowhere else she’d rather be than the hatchery that grows saltwater fish for research and stock enhancement.

“I love it,” Head said with a smile. “We watch them hatch out under a microscope. We feed them and grow them so that they can be released and fishermen can fish. You get to see life right here in this building.”

The Alabama Department of Conservation Division of Marine Resources oversees both recreation and commercial fishing in saltwater. Its hatchery spearheads efforts to make sure anglers have plenty of fish to pursue down at the Gulf.

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