Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
ACTION! Filming the Big Muddy
Midwest Region, December 1, 2007
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Dave Hargis with a pallid sturgeon captured on the Missouri River. Dave was out filming the Columbia NWFCO's Missouri River Trotlining Crew.
Dave Hargis with a pallid sturgeon captured on the Missouri River. Dave was out filming the Columbia NWFCO's Missouri River Trotlining Crew. - Photo Credit: n/a

Award-winning outdoor videographer and producer Dave Hargis of Vantage Point Productions enjoys filming America's waterways.  Among his accolades, Dave has received the prestigious Telly Award for two of his films: "Waters of the Wilderness" highlights the boundary waters of Canada and northern Minnesota, and "Ozark Waterways" features several scenic rivers in the heart of Missouri's Ozark Mountains. 


We first met Dave in 2006 when we contracted with him to produce a video documenting the development of our trawling efforts on the Missouri River. The end product was a short video suitable for presentation at professional meetings or to the general public.


Since then, an excellent working relationship has ensued.  Dave's current film project chronicles the lower 400 miles of the Big Muddy throughout the changing seasons.  Realizing how much time we spend on the river, and the large area we cover, he has contacted us several times to ride along and film. Dave was even lucky enough to get some footage of the endangered pallid sturgeon this fall.


A true partnership is give and take, so we asked for a favor from Dave this past December. He needed some winter footage and we wanted to make a short video showing the safety and ease of our trot line system, a long rope set along the bottom of the river with baited hooks tied at 5 to 10 foot intervals.


To better document our trot line methods, Dave filmed as our field crew deployed and retrieved a few trot lines. In addition, Dave was able to get some great winter footage of ice covered tributaries and majestic bald eagles.


Within a few days, the river was choked with ice allowing Biologist Jeff Finley to narrate the trot line video in the comfort of Dave's studio.  The finished product is another outstanding production, suitable for many audiences. This video has already been sent out to other offices conducting sturgeon sampling on big rivers. As with any partnership, it is great when both sides benefit. In this case, the Columbia NFWCO greatly benefited from Dave's expertise and Dave got several free boat rides!


We look foreword to helping Dave collect spring footage of the river for his Big Muddy film and are always eager to help Dave with other projects. He tells us the finished product should be ready in the fall of 2008. We're betting he'll win another Telly! 

Contact Info: Andrew Plauck, 573-234-2132 ext 175, Andrew_Plauck@fws.gov
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