Fish and Aquatic Conservation

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National Fish Passage Program Partner of the Year 

Norman Bowers receiving the NFPP Partner of the Year award from Wayne Stancill, NFPP engineer.
Credit.USFWS
Norman Bowers receiving the  NFFP Partner of the Year award from Wayne Stancill,  NFPP engineer.

The National Fish Passage Program (NFPP) Partner of the Year award was recently presented to Norman Bowers, technical assistance engineer with the Kansas Association of Counties in Topeka, Kansas.

Mr. Bowers serves as liaison between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various Kansas government entities involved with oversight and construction of road crossing and stream restoration projects. Bowers sponsored the first Culvert Installers Workshop conducted in Kansas and has developed a handbook on incorporating fish passage design into road crossings and stream stabilization projects. The handbook is made available to state, county, and private groups involved with design, construction, and/or oversight of road crossing projects.

Thanks to Norman Bowers, 11 road crossing and stream restoration projects in Kansas are using fish friendly culvert designs. His efforts have gone a long way to promote best management practices of culvert designs to inhibit further barriers from being constructed and for improving existing ones.  

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Living the [Genetic] Dream: Meet Christian Smith, Pacific Region Regional Geneticist

Christian Smith samples steelhead. Credit: USFWS
Christian Smith samples steelhead. Photo credit: USFWS

Rebecca Smith from our Pacific Region shares a profile of Regional Geneticist Christian Smith.

Christian Smith’s passion for conservation genetics first expressed itself in the forests and beaches of British Columbia. The Pacific Region’s newest regional geneticist grew up in the Gulf Islands, and first connected with nature when his grandmother took both him and his brother on nature walks and pointed out plants and animals.

It was a very rich experience for my brother and me,” says Smith.

A seven-year veteran at the Abernathy Fish Technology Center, Smith now leads a “genetic dream team” of scientists that use advanced technology to help the Service decipher the genetic code for such imperiled aquatic species as salmon and Devil’s hole pupfish, and make smart, cost-effective conservation decisions.


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Fish -- and Unexpected Moments of Excitement -- Inspire Katrina Mueller

Katrina introduces a child to fishing.
Credit: Sydney West
Katrina introduces a child to fishing. Credit: Sydney West

Katrina Mueller serves as Fisheries Outreach Coordinator in Alaska. This means working with Field Offices and recognized Fish Habitat Partnerships to tell the public what is being done to conserve fish and their habitats. The breadth of projects and amount of media now available to tell these stories keep her on her toes. She also co-chairs the Alaska Region’s Connecting People with Nature Team and serves on the Polar Bear Recovery Team’s Communication Working Group. She and her family spend most of their free time hunting and fishing and enjoying Alaska's out-of-doors.

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Outsmarting My Disability: From Struggling Student to Conservation Educator

By Dan Spencer/USFWS

 

I had a love of the outdoors, especially fishing, from an early age.

Photo: I had a love of the outdoors, especially fishing, from an early age.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is “Expect. Employ. Empower.” To gear up for this month, USFWS biologist Dan Spencer, shares how struggling with his disability brought him to where he is today. Talk about empowerment! 

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Meet Your Fish and Wildlife Service: Connie Keeler-Foster

Connie often goes out scouting for game
with her mule.
Connie often goes out scouting for game with her mule.

Connie Keeler-Foster is the Project Leader for Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Montana, and for the past year and a half, she has also served as the Acting Project Leader for the Bozeman Fish Health Center. Our day starts at 6:30, and the routine appeals to her – they feed the fish, clean up after the fish, spawn the fish and care for the eggs and young fish. Essentially, she says, “I am a farmer/rancher at heart, it’s just fish not cows or crops.”

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Last updated: November 20, 2014