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Ozark Mountain Anglers Sport Show
Midwest Region, January 25, 2008
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January can be a tough time for sportfishing enthusiasts.  Howling winds, frigid temperatures, and icy rivers and lakes can deter even the most avid anglers.  In these conditions boredom and cabin fever can quickly set in.  Most anglers find themselves at the mercy of Mother Nature with little to do but wait out the winter.  In the meantime, they can find some relief at the local sports shows.

For the third consecutive year, Columbia National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) participated in the Ozark Mountain Anglers Sport Show held in the University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center.  In years past, we have assisted the Big Muddy NFWR with their booth and brought in our trawl boat Phoenix for a trawling exhibit.  This year our electrofishing boat Louweeza was polished up and parked with the lights and anodes attached for an interpretive display on electrofishing.  An informational poster explaining electrofishing theory and fishery science, made by biologist Cliff Wilson, accompanied the display.  Our staff was available to answer questions from inquisitive onlookers. The boat generated a great deal of interest and common joking questions like, “Can I borrow your boat?” and “Are those wind chimes?” which kept the weekend light and interesting.  Columbia NFWCO staff handed out literature, temporary tattoos, posters, and toy “squishy” sturgeon for the kids that successfully assembled our fish identification puzzle.  We also answered questions dealing with exotic species, sportfishing, and the plight of sturgeon in the Midwest. As a whole, the sports show gave anglers the opportunity to learn new skills, see and buy new products and speak to natural resources professionals.  The event was successful at feeding an anxious audience awaiting outdoor opportunities offered by the promise of spring weather.

Contact Info: Jeff Finley, 573 234-2132 x .171, jeff_finley@fws.gov



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