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STOCKTON FWO: Calaveras River Education and Appreciation Day Allows Students to Learn About and Explore Their Local River
California-Nevada Offices , November 2, 2013
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A.A. Stagg High School students explore aquatic macroinvertebrate samples during the Calaveras River Education and Appreciation Day.
A.A. Stagg High School students explore aquatic macroinvertebrate samples during the Calaveras River Education and Appreciation Day. - Photo Credit: Jacob Osborne/USFWS
Dr. Stacy Sherman, University of the Pacific, demonstrates  an underwater video camera used to document the presence of fish in their natural environment.
Dr. Stacy Sherman, University of the Pacific, demonstrates an underwater video camera used to document the presence of fish in their natural environment. - Photo Credit: Jacob Osborne/USFWS

The fourth annual Calaveras River Education and Appreciation Day was held on November 2, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Anadromous Fish Restoration Program (AFRP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and members of the Friends of the Lower Calaveras River (FLCR), worked collaboratively to present this exciting event. Funding for the event came through a grant from the Service’s Connecting People with Nature program. USACE provided use of the Monte Vista and Observation Point Recreation Areas, perfect venues for the event situated near New Hogan Dam.

Approximately 35 students from A.A. Stagg High School in Stockton attended the event. Local experts in a wide array of natural resource disciplines interacted with the students in a variety of educational activities. The Service and FLCR worked with Stagg biology teacher Marcus Sherman to actively recruit interested students that live near the lower reaches of the Calaveras River in Stockton, California.

Service fishery biologist Donnie Ratcliff organized the event and coordinated with other members of FLCR to ensure that the valuable knowledge of its membership could be conveyed to students. Ratcliff and Service biologist Mike Marshall taught students how to sample and identify aquatic macroinvertebrates and discussed how aquatic food webs function. Dr. Stacy Sherman (University of the Pacific and FLCR) presented information about aquatic habitats and fish that occur in the Calaveras. James Marsh (FLCR) engaged students in a highly interactive brainstorming and learning session related to observing species, habitats and processes in nature and translating those observations into personal nature journals. Service fisheries technicians Jacob Osborne and Jeffrey Cullen assisted with all of the activities. After the morning’s activities a barbeque lunch was provided by FLCR near the reservoir and students were able to observe reservoir environments and learn about water safety from USACE park ranger Kevin Franken.

The goal of this event was to connect youth with their local watershed by introducing them to some basic field biology techniques, discussing healthy watershed functions and benefits, and introducing them to natural resource professionals and community members that work to protect and enhance the Calaveras River. Attendees provided valuable feedback that made the event a great success and will improve future events. In the future, organizers hope to include more students and families from throughout the watershed during multiple events each year. The event generated significant enthusiasm among the students, as well as the  desire to continue learning about, protecting and enhancing the benefits and opportunities provided by their local river.


Contact Info: Paul Cadrett, 209-334-2968 x 312, paul_cadrett@fws.gov



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