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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
STOCKTON FWO:  Service Organizes First Annual Stanislaus River Salmon Festival
Region 8, November 7, 2009
USFWS staff, Angie Bourandas and Julie Wolford, provide temporary salmon tattoos to children attending the festival (Photo: Phil Voong USFWS).
USFWS staff, Angie Bourandas and Julie Wolford, provide temporary salmon tattoos to children attending the festival (Photo: Phil Voong USFWS). - Photo Credit: n/a
Children learn about the Stockton FWO programs (Photo: Ramon Martin, USFWS).
Children learn about the Stockton FWO programs (Photo: Ramon Martin, USFWS). - Photo Credit: n/a

by J.D. Wikert, Stockton FWO
Service staff from the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office took the lead in organizing the first ever festival to celebrate the return of fall-run Chinook salmon on the Stanislaus River  during the Stanislaus River Salmon Festival, November 7, 2009, at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Knights Ferry Recreation Area.  The event featured a large number of interactive activities, and focused on providing opportunities to connect children with nature.  Approximately 1,500 people attended the event.  Partnerships with agencies and other organizations made the event possible.  The East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers played key roles in organizing the event.

The event offered a variety of opportunities for outdoor education including a demonstration of how California Department of Fish and Game biologists sample for salmon carcasses, a challenging salmon obstacle course, fly-fishing demonstrations, fishing for trash, watching female salmon build a redd (a depression created by the upstroke of the female salmon's body and tail) in the River, and making your own Gyotaku (fish print) t-shirts.

Several organizations helped to sponsor the event, including Almond Board of California, Alpine Pacific Nut Company, Bettencourt Farms, California Dairy Research Foundation, California Milk Advisory Board, Expresso Express, Mid Valley Nut Company, Nick Sciabica & Sons, Oakdale Cheese Company, Oakdale Irrigation District, The Red Apple, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Local school students provided salmon artwork and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exhibited educational videos about salmon and rivers at their visitor center. The local Lions Club provided delicious freshly cooked salmon and provided attendees an opportunity to watch the filleting process.

In addition to organizing the event, USFWS staff provided information on salmon, restoration, monitoring, and aquatic nuisance species, and helped out with exhibitor setup/cleanup, and directed traffic. 

Thanks to all who participated and attended the festival and helped to make it a great success.  Next year’s event is scheduled to be held on November 14, 2010.

 

Contact Info: Ramon Martin, 209-334-2968 ext. 401, ramon_martin@fws.gov