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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

STOCKTON FWO: Stockton Office Conducts Fish Identification Course to Increase Identification Skills For Local, State, and Federal Agency Partners

Region 8, April 14, 2011

By Paul Miklos, Stockton FWO 

The Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office (STFWO) offered a fish identification course in Stockton, Calif., on April 14th, 2011. John Pedretti of the STFWO led the course which emphasized the fishes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary.

The course was taught to increase the fish identification skills of new and existing STFWO employees and staff from other local, state, and federal agencies.

The course was structured into two sections: lecture and lab. The lecture section of the class was offered in the morning and provided information on the life history and morphological traits of fishes found within the Delta. The lab section of the course was offered in the afternoon and gave students hands-on experience identifying preserved fishes collected by the STFWO throughout the region. To help facilitate the course, the STFWO also provided a large variety of detailed fish pictures and unique morphological keys.

After the first course section was completed, STFWO employees also were put through a challenging quiz to determine their skill level regarding fish identification, while staff from other agencies were offered more time with the instructor and preserved specimens. The test scores will help the STFWO determine each employee’s progress and accuracy in fish identification. In the end, the course was and will continue to be a real benefit in promoting interagency cooperation and strengthening the integrity of the fish data collected by the STFWO and other agencies.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov