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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

STOCKTON FWO: Oroville Salmon Festival

Region 8, September 24, 2011
Phil Voong, Denise Barnard, and David Dominguez of the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office interact with festival attendees.
Phil Voong, Denise Barnard, and David Dominguez of the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office interact with festival attendees. - Photo Credit: n/a
The “Create Your Own Salmon Habitat!” activity.
The “Create Your Own Salmon Habitat!” activity. - Photo Credit: n/a

 On September 24, Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office staff members David Dominguez, Phil Voong, and Denise Barnard operated the US Fish and Wildlife Service booth at the Salmon Festival, held at the Department of Fish and Game’s Feather River Hatchery in Oroville, Calif. In addition to the FWS booth, the festival offered activities including tours of the hatchery, a salmon ceremony performed by the Native American Maidu tribe, and booths operated by 15 agencies and organizations.

The “Create Your Own Salmon Habitat!” activity developed by Jerrica Lewis and Kate Erly, both from the Stockton Office, was a huge draw to the booth. Large, clear plastic containers were laid out with water and a layer of river rocks placed inside. A toy salmon was placed among the rocks in each container, and children were invited to choose among several toys to create an appropriate habitat for a river-spawning Chinook salmon. Choices included different kinds of plastic aquatic vegetation, ocean animals, garbage, salmon eggs (i.e., plastic beads), turtles, and tree branches. While the participants were creating the habitat, Service staff explained salmonid life cycles and discussed what might make a good salmon habitat. After completing the activity, the participants received a coloring book.

The FWS booth offered many other activities to capture the attention of festival attendees. In one activity, participants were invited to use orange plastic beads to make bracelets out of “salmon eggs,” during which time a visual aid of preserved juvenile salmon was used to explain the life cycle of Chinook salmon. Visitors also were encouraged to take any of several different brochures concerning careers in the Service, invasive species, aquatic conservation, and the work done by the Stockton Office employees. 

The festival was a success and provided an opportunity to share the vision and purpose of the Stockton Office. The educational booths and hatchery tours contributed to a better understanding of Chinook salmon and river conservation among everyone who attended the event.

Contact Info: Joseph Kirsch, 209-334-2968 ext. 309, joseph_kirsch@fws.gov