WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) – A species-saving project at the National Fish Hatchery in White Sulphur Springs gained national recognition.

The Candy Darter is a beautifully colored, endangered fish species native only to the Kanawha and Greenbrier Rivers.

To prevent Candy Darters from going extinct, the National Fish Hatchery began spawning them last year before re-releasing them back into the wild.

“We got them to spawn here at the hatchery and then we hatched the eggs, and we grew them to about two-and-a-half inches long, which is a pretty good size. Then we tagged them and released them and that’s the first time that’s really been done,” said Andrew Phipps, a Fish Biologist at the National Fish Hatchery.

Thanks to photographer Joel Sartore with National Geographic, the Candy Darters will soon be able to be seen nationwide.

Sartore’s photo of a Candy Darter, taken at the hatchery, will be available as a stamp in the US Postal Service’s Endangered Species stamp collection. You’ll be able to send Candy Darter stamps all across the world starting in March of 2023.