Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Columbia FRO Assists in a Teachers Field Trip Day on the Missouri River
Midwest Region, July 13, 2006
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Columbia FRO and partners including Big Muddy NWR, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Missouri Department of Natural Resources, conducted a field day on the Missouri River for public elementary and high school teachers from around the state of Missouri.


The day consisted of teachers spending 20-30 minutes at each of many stations highlighting a specific ecological topic related to the river.  Many of the teachers knew very little about the Missouri River or large river ecosystems and most had never been on a large river.


Columbia FRO demonstrated the use of both the stern trawl and the push trawl for large river fish sampling. The outing also exposed teachers to other sampling gears used to monitor large rivers. Discussions ensued on a variety of topics including how complex large river management is from a human, physical and biological standpoint. 


Fishery biologists Andy Starostka and Andy Plauck, Columbia FRO, provided information on the Pallid Sturgeon Monitoring Project and the Shallow Water Habitat Project monitoring programs.  

Biologists discussed the conflicts of different user groups in the Missouri River Basin. Balancing the interests of agriculture groups, the navigation industry and the organisms inhabiting the river is an ongoing challenge as water demands are ever increasing. 

Biological monitoring can be difficult because of the myriad of physical and biological variables that interact and confound.  The balance of large river management between natural resource and human needs is demanding but not insurmountable. 

The group left with a better understanding of big river ecology and the types work that biologists conduct on a day-to-day basis.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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