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COLEMAN NFH: Friends of Coleman Hatchery Forms, Joins National Friends Group
California-Nevada Offices , March 24, 2009
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Friends of Coleman National Fish Hatchery are, from right: Dan LaBorie, Jerry Giardino, and Jack Blanke. (photo: courtesy Sharon Gower)
Friends of Coleman National Fish Hatchery are, from right: Dan LaBorie, Jerry Giardino, and Jack Blanke. (photo: courtesy Sharon Gower) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Brett Galyean, Coleman NFH 
During the summer of 2008 supportive citizen volunteers at the Service's Coleman National Fish Hatchery (NFH) joined to form the Friends of Coleman NFH, a grassroots non-profit group that provides volunteers and other support to the hatchery, located in Anderson, Calif. Membership of The Friends of Coleman NFH includes: Jack Blanke, elected chair; Dan LaBorie, organization lead; and Jerry Giardino, secretary.

The mission of the Friends of Coleman NFH is,“To promote a better understanding of the Coleman National Fish Hatchery Complex and the surrounding area.” The Friends group is made up of three members of the Coleman NFH volunteer program. The volunteer program is responsible for leading school group tours in October and November at the hatchery during the spawning of fall Chinook salmon. The program is very popular and it is not uncommon to have 500 school children at the hatchery during spawning days.

At the hatchery's Return of the Salmon Festival October 17, 2008, the Friends of Coleman NFH staffed a booth to provide information on the formation of the group. The group also began raising funds fby selling ice cream and Friends of Coleman NFH T-shirts. Additional funds were raised by redeeming recyclables collected at the hatchery.

In January 2009, the Friends of Coleman NFH joined the Friends of Northwest Hatcheries, a non-profit 501(C3) volunteer organization whose mission is to support natural resource stewardship and education in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatcheries in the Northwest. Friends of Northwest Hatcheries is also associated with the Leavenworth, Entiat, Spring Creek, Carson, and Winthrop National Fish Hatcheries in Washington State, as well as the Dworshak, Kooskia, and Hagerman National Fish Hatcheries in Idaho.

Friends groups work to increase awareness of the relationships between people and the environment through outreach programs, workshops and seminars. By joining the larger Friends group, the Friends of Coleman NFH will be able to develop and receive assistance, experience, and education from the already established groups.  The experience and assistance gained will be vital in the development of the Coleman NFH friends group and will eventually allow for Friends of Coleman NFH to grow and become an independent organization that will no longer be a part of the Friends of Northwest hatcheries.

Future projects for Friends of Coleman NFH includes: increasing the public’s knowledge of Coleman NFH through outreach at various events held throughout Shasta and Tehama Counties, working on a trail system along Battle Creek that will enhance the hatchery visitor experience, increasing membership in the Friends group, and improving existing informational facilities at the hatchery.

Coleman National Fish Hatchery was constructed in 1942. Situated on Battle Creek, a small, cold water tributary of the Sacramento River, the hatchery produces 12 million Fall Chinook Salmon, 1 million Late Fall Chinook Salmon, and 600,000 Steelhead Trout annually.  More information about the hatchery is available on the hatchery website.

 


Contact Info: Brett Galyean, 530-365-8622, brett_galyean@fws.gov



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