BY RANDY OBERMILLER, PENDILLS CREEK NFH
During certain times of the year, Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery (NFH) and Sullivan Creek NFH need a hand to help get the job done.
When this need arises, both Pendills Creek and Sullivan Creek call upon Aaron Stallman. Since 2003, Aaron has worked in many capacities for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a term employee. During those years, Aaron has become a valuable asset to the hatchery complex.
Whether filling in for permanent staff during vacations, assisting during spawning season, or working during fish distribution, Aaron can always be counted on to help out when called upon.
While working at Pendills Creek NFH as an Animal Caretaker, Aaron has performed a variety of duties related to fish culture and maintenance. Some of the duties he performed include: cleaning raceways, feeding fish, recording various fish culture information, helping with sample counting, janitorial work, and assisting the hatchery staff with a variety of projects.
During spawning season, which usually starts by the middle of September and runs until the middle of November, Aaron has also worked at Sullivan Creek NFH. Sullivan Creek NFH is a substation of Pendills Creek NFH and a lake trout brood stock facility, which requires extra help during this time. Aaron has helped with the spawning process by sorting, picking, fertilizing, and collecting lake trout eggs.
Aaron has also worked as a Coded Wire Technician with the Great Lakes Fishery Mass Marking Initiative. Traveling throughout the state of Michigan at various state and federal fish hatcheries, he has worked in the Auto Fish Trailer .The Auto Fish System involves the process of clipping the adipose fin and inserting a coded wire tag resulting in uniform marking and identification of trout and salmon stocked into the Great Lakes.
Aaron is dependable, reliable, and has a great work ethic. We are fortunate to be able to call on him to fill in at the hatchery complex on a short notice, and we are proud to have him in our ranks.
BY CAREY EDWARDS, IRON RIVER NFH
It seems like the new buzzword these days is pollinator and rightly so. They are an integral part of the world’s life cycle. Efforts to cultivate areas where pollinators can reproduce, feed and grow are in effect across the country. The Iron River National Fish Hatchery is also doing its part to provide safe harbor for pollinators.
Coming back for the sixth year is the Iron River Elementary School 5th grade class. This year’s efforts were put forth in rejuvenating the first garden made in 2009. In an effort to put more ownership into the project, the students would not only help plant the garden but they would also make their own stepping stone. Stones were decorated with an assortment of stamps, stones and shells.
Once the students smoothed out their concrete mixtures, it was time to plant. Students spent the remainder of the morning weeding the connecting gardens and re-planting flowers in the old one. After lunch, the students toured the hatchery and decorated their stepping stones.
With a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of teamwork, a very successful and rewarding project was accomplished. The students were able to learn about gardening and butterflies as well as gaining awareness of fish hatchery processes. Stay tuned for next year’s addition to the Iron River National Fish Hatchery’s butterfly garden with the new fifth grade class.