It’s National Volunteer Week!
It would be misleading to say that what our 3000+ volunteers do for Fish and Aquatic Conservation is immeasurable.
It's very measurable—they contributed more than 112,000 hours of service nationwide last year at many of our National Fish Hatcheries and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices. Those hours are equivalent to 54 full time employees and a value of more than $2,525,600 to our programs.
Volunteers wear many hats, too, from giving guided tours to helping with grounds maintenance. They organize events; work at visitor centers; clean raceways and nets, and culture fish.
So, hats off to the many volunteers who make fisheries conservation their concern.
The World of Trout
The World of Trout is a seminal event celebrating trout and the passion they inspire around the world. Arguably no other freshwater species have had more impact on art and literature, conservation science, the global economy, and the human condition. This first-of-its-kind event will be held in Bozeman, Montana, July 26 - 31, 2015, in the shadow of Yellowstone National Park and in proximity to some of the most beloved trout streams in the world. This event will bring together a diverse audience that includes conservationists, scientists, anglers, writers, artists, educators, and the public for an exchange of ideas and focused events that explore trout as a global barometer, driver for ecosystem restoration, resource for sustained regional economies, instrument of human culture, and more.
Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence (Individual) – 2014
Name: Nathan Eckert
Nathan Eckert, mussel biologist at Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin, is recognized for his creativity and tenacity in developing new techniques for rearing imperiled freshwater mussels. Nathan’s advances in freshwater mussel recovery include the discovery of alternate host fish species for endangered mussels such as the sheepnose and development of alternative rearing systems that have allowed previously uncultured mussels to be successfully cultured, such as the fawns foot and pistolgrip mussel. Nathan is also contributing to an ongoing study to test a new biocide that selectively kills zebra mussels while not affecting freshwater mussel populations, which will give us a new tool to safely combat the invasive zebra mussel in the presence of freshwater mussels. Since arriving at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, Nathan has helped produce nearly 15 million mussels of 17 species, including 4.7 million mussels of four federally listed species.
Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence (Group) – 2014
The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Broodstock and Lake Reintroduction Team
The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Broodstock and Lake Reintroduction Team is recognized for their efforts to conserve the Lahontan cutthroat trout. The fish is the largest of 13 living cutthroat trout subspecies, reaching 60 pounds. Their work includes a sophisticated mating protocol in the hatchery designed to maximize genetic diversity of the broodstock in order to preserve the species’ unique traits. The team’s impressive work with several partners has successfully reintroduced the species into lake and stream habitats where it once existed prior to extirpation. Lahontan cutthroat trout reproduced naturally in the Tahoe Basin in 2012 for the first time in over 70 years and in the Truckee Basin in 2014 for the first time in 76 years.