Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Northeast Region

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Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

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News & Feature Stories
Partnerships: Outreach and Education
New Refuge Visitor Center Exhibits Open
Child at the Visitor Center aquarium
Children of all ages can enjoy aquariums with native fish of the lower Great Lakes.
Photo credit: Catherine Gatenby/USFWS

Learn About Natural Communities and Freshwater Fish in WNY Northeast Region, November 14, 2014

Since the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center was constructed and finished in October 2012, refuge and fisheries staff have been planning the installation of various interactive exhibits, allowing for a self-guided tour through the Visitor Center. These exhibits were unveiled at the Grand Opening Ceremony on November 14th and are now open for the public to enjoy. Featuring environmental education and interpretive displays describing the natural communities found on the refuge and in the lower Great Lakes, the exhibit includes two large aquariums showcasing iconic fishes of the lower Great Lakes, as well as fishes found on the refuge.


Fisheries: Outreach and Education
Connecting People with Nature
A day in the life of the Buffalo River
Teams of high school students worked together to collect scientific data about water currents and water chemistry of the Buffalo River.
Photo credit: Denise Clay/USFWS

Lower Great Lakes FWCO Engages High School Students During Reinstein Woods’ “A Day in the Life of the Buffalo River Northeast Region, October 3, 2014

On October 3rd, over 150 students from local schools engaged in hands-on science during the NYS DEC’s Reinstein Woods "A Day in the Life of the Buffalo River" event. Students collected scientific information to create snapshots of the river at multiple of locations from Buffalo to West Seneca, NY. At each location, teams of students, Reinstein staff/volunteers, and environmental educators from local organizations including the LGLFWCO, used kick nets, seine nets and lab equipment to investigate aquatic life, currents, weather, and water chemistry and quality. Students shared the data being compiled by a Buffalo State College hosted website to better understand how their piece of the river fits into the larger Buffalo River ecosystem. Data collected during the event may be viewed online after December 2014 at http://communityservice.buffalostate.edu/BuffaloRiver/index.html. Other ways participants used their data include teachers having their students do class presentations on the data, while others completed in-class activities and worksheets.

Fisheries: Aquatic Invasive Species
Early Detection and Monitoring
Pathways student, Kelly McDonald, reviewing larval fish samples
Pathways student, Kelly McDonald, reviewing larval fish samples.
Photo credit: USFWS

Fish Studies Track Spread of Invasive Species Northeast Region, September 30, 2014

Earlier this summer, biologists collected larval fish as part of their annual monitoring to detect invasions of nuisance fish species. We used a variety of sampling gear, such as the bongo net - it looks like a bongo drum - to capture fish at different stages in their growth and to capture fish in high risk areas. Collecting fish at the earliest stage in their life cycle helps us maximize the likelihood of detecting invasive species. Now, we are sorting through over 130 samples, processing them by egg and larval fish size class for each habitat area, and preparing them for genetic barcoding to be conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The genetic barcoding allows us to keep tabs on potential spread of invasive fishes into the Great Lakes basin.

Fisheries: Aquatic Invasive Species
Fish and Plant Surveys of Erie Canal
Large Walleye collected during sampling
Fish Biologist displays large walleye collected during Erie Canal survey.
Photo credit: Denise Clay/USFWS

Lower Great Lakes FWCO Reports No New Expansion of Invasive Hydrilla Plant Northeast Region, September 26, 2014

Lower Great Lakes FWCO Aquatic Invasive Species crews completed their fall survey of invasive plants and fish throughout the New York State Erie Canal. We are pleased to report that Hydrilla has not migrated down the Erie Canal from Tonawanda Creek. Tonawanda Creek was treated for Hydrilla this past August by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. We found the "usual suspects" of invasive fish, such as common carp – not to be confused with the Asian carp (silver, bighead, black and grass). It’s good news that no Asian carp were seen! Recreational anglers will be happy to know that we observed more walleye in our samples than in previous years!

Fisheries: Outreach and Education
Fall Festivals in Western New York
Fish Biologist, Robert Haltner helps festival attendees learn and enjoy fishing.
Fish Biologist, Robert Haltner helps festival attendees learn and enjoy fishing.
Photo credit: Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve

Science + Art = Fun Environmental Education Northeast Region, September 20, 27-28, 2014

The theme at the 14th Annual Fall Festival of the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve , was “soar into autumn”. Live music gently soared through the festival while the 2,500 visitors explored nature activities, exhibits, and live animals brought to them by more than 30 environmental and nature-related organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Service. More fun art and science projects were created the following week at the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Wildlife Festival, including hand-painting wooden cut-outs of fish and wildlife, and making “critter” masks. The NYPA Wildlife Festival received nearly 18,000 visitors. The event was a great opportunity for sharing our conservation message and getting to know our community.



Working with others, to conserve, protect, and enhance, fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Last updated: December 1, 2014
Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
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