BY CHRIS OLDS, ALPENA FWCO
Staff from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) had the privilege of interacting with Director Dan Ashe during his recent trip to Michigan. The Director was in Michigan for several meetings and site visits, which included a stop at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Alpena FWCO’s environmental DNA (eDNA) laboratory happened to be set up at the Shiawassee NWR, since the refuge served as a central location for field crews collecting water samples in the area as part of the Region’s early detection program for Asian Carps.
Alpena FWCO staff demonstrated the process of extracting eDNA from water samples, the efficiencies offered by the state-of-the-art mobile lab, and provided the Director with a brief overview of the Midwest Region’s eDNA program. Specifically, the Director learned about the cross-regional collaboration between Region’s 3 and 5 along with a multitude of partners including local, state, federal, provincial, and tribal agencies. This program is very complex and requires a great deal of coordination, both internally and externally, in order to be successfully delivered across the entire Great Lakes basin.
In a note of thanks received by Director Ashe, he commented that the staff’s energy and enthusiasm for the work they do was obvious and inspiring, and he would long remember the day as one of the great ones of his career. Alpena FWCO staff shared the Director’s sentiments and appreciated the opportunity to talk about the collaborative efforts to monitor aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and its tributaries.
Thanks for visiting Director Ashe!