Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Missouri River Awareness, One Sporting Goods Shopper at a Time
Midwest Region, January 31, 2007
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Ashley Berkley's poster will be displayed on the support pillars of Bass Pro Shops 8000 gallon aquarium in Columbia, Missouri. 
- FWS photo
Ashley Berkley's poster will be displayed on the support pillars of Bass Pro Shops 8000 gallon aquarium in Columbia, Missouri.

- FWS photo

- Photo Credit: n/a

The Missouri River is besieged with heavy ice flows as temperatures in central Missouri remain well below freezing.  Columbia FRO field crews use this time to work on reports and projects in the cozy confines of the heated office.  One such project undertaken this January will help build the experience of our volunteer staff and strengthen the relationship with one of our partners in outdoor education, Bass Pro Shops of Columbia. 


We established a cooperative partnership with the store prior to their 2004 grand opening by collecting Missouri river fish for their display aquarium.  In turn, Bass Pro Shops offered space on the support pillars of the 8000 gallon tank for educational material relative to the Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri river restoration. 


Taking the lead on this project is our station’s volunteer photographer, Ashley Berkler.  She has worked on compiling photos for educational posters.  As a journalism student at the University of Missouri, she has great intuition for creating media to catch the public eye.  Her posters will be displayed on the large aquarium, helping visitors understand the ecology of some of the big river species in the tank.  Ashley has worked with biologists at the Columbia FRO to find the best pictures of various riverine species.  After designing an attractive layout, Ashley researched each species for interesting facts, identifying characteristics and colloquial names commonly used to describe these fish.  In addition she included scientific concerns, such as the suspected decline of shovelnose sturgeon due to overharvest for caviar.  Her posters will be printed off on heavy stock, laminated and taken to the aquarium where they will be featured in a “fish of the month” display.


Ashley aspires to work as an interpreter, naturalist or ranger upon graduation from the University of Missouri this May.  Volunteering her time to create this project speaks volumes for her dedication and commitment to outreach. Volunteers and partners are a critical component to the outreach efforts by our office.  Ashley’s posters will be seen by hundreds of people weekly, most of whom are only somewhat familiar with the vast diversity swimming in our local waters.  This project highlights the “Public Use” goal of our Strategic Plan by “working with partners to identify and implement outreach and education activities regarding the concept, value, and importance of responsible recreational fishing to the American public.”

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