Summer at Genoa NFH
BY ANGELA BARAN, GENOA NFH
This year Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH) was fortunate enough to have not only the YCC program for summer helpers but six volunteers in addition! Ben Rubash has returned for his 4th summer with us, we thought we would have scared him off a long time ago, but he must really like us or the sturgeon! His family returned from Hawaii again to spend the summer in Viroqua and Ben has been coming in one day a week during his summer vacation to help us with pond harvesting and the sturgeon program work.
Danelle Lloyd has travelled from Colorado to gain experience working with the mussel program and has been a huge help over the summer, doing the less glorious work of counting mussels in all of the mucket buckets and monitoring the activities in the mussel building. This daily monitoring has allowed Nathan Eckert and Jorge Buening the time needed to complete the extensive cage deployments and river surveys.
The hatchery also has three college students and one recent college graduate that come out to the hatchery as they have time over the summer.
Liz Hackner is a student at University of Wisconsin La Crosse and has been coming out to the hatchery on her days off from her paying summer job to help us out. She actually started volunteering during the winter semester of school, driving down to the hatchery when she had small windows of time between classes and work. She has been able to help with the mussel program, pond harvesting and the sturgeon program, getting a wide range of experience at the hatchery.
Matt Hare is a student from Winona State University in Minnesota, who came out to the hatchery to help with the Spring Kid’s Fishing Day and we hooked him with the cool sturgeon! He comes out to the hatchery whenever his work schedule will allow.
Kayla Berge began volunteering for the La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, and then as there were slower times for that office, she ventured down to the hatchery. She stopped in to ask about possibly volunteering, filled out the form and then we asked her if she brought a lunch and put her right to work that day!! She has been coming to the hatchery on Thursdays and Fridays and also helping the La Crosse office when they need assistance.
Aaron Young just recently graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree and is volunteering one day a week while he searches for a permanent job in the Natural Resources field. These volunteers have added the equivalent of two permanent staff members for their time here, helping out during the busiest time of the year.