Conservation for Tomorrow
Today’s youths are tomorrow’s conservationists, but many are growing up unaware of the need to conserve America’s fisheries resources and habitat. The Fisheries Program engages, educates, and employs young people. We provide opportunities to learn about fish, other aquatic species and their habitats through outdoor learning areas, providing field study opportunities, hosting festivals and events and developing tools for teaching today’s conservation ethic. We also are engaging youth and adults through our Friends Groups, partnerships with States and Tribes, through various youth employment programs and educational programs like Habitatitude and Protect Your Waters. In doing so all of us will better understand the world around us, as well as how to enjoy and steward it for conservationists yet to come.
The Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO), Michigan, played a larger role in this year’s Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, “River Days Kids Fishing Fest,” held along the Detroit River. Thanks to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Connecting People with Nature initiative, the Alpena FWCO received $4,800 through the initiative and purchased fishing poles, bait, tackle, and other equipment to help make this event a success. Approximately 400 children, parents, and grandparents participated.
Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery biologists have spent time this year helping 175 kindergarteners from the Vernal, Utah, area learn about trout utilizing the Trout in the Classroom curriculum. Students recorded observations in their science journals as they watched the fish hatch from eggs and grow into fingerlings. As a culminating event, the students were able to help stock rainbow trout into Kids Canal located in Vernal. Jones Hole provided the aquariums, chillers, trout eggs, and teaching resources.
The Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office continues its youth hiring program in 2012. In 2011, 14 crew members completed important work for the Apache Trout Recovery Program. This included eight barrier evaluations, seven population surveys, and removal of nonnative fishes from three streams. Crew members also assisted with fish surveys on other reservations in Arizona as well as other projects across the state.