Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
A Tale of Two Volunteers
Midwest Region, February 1, 2008
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It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times for two Columbia NFWCO volunteers.  After many weeks working in the shop and office, volunteers Marie Delatour and Chris Clemens were excited to sample the Missouri River for pallid sturgeon.  However, weather conditions were anything but favorable.  The morning greeted them with 33° temperatures, pouring rain, and a threat of snow and ice looming on the horizon.  Undaunted, the volunteers suited up and braved the elements. 


Technicians Colby Wrasse and Brett Witte accompanied the volunteer crew pulling gover 20 sets of gill nets and trot lines.  The day started with rain and ended with rain, and included an impressive lightening display that chased the team off the river.  By the end of the day, the team was wet, cold, and without a pallid sturgeon, but still in good spirits.


"Fieldwork during poor weather conditions is trying even when you are getting paid.  The fact that these volunteers offered their help on a day like this, speaks volumes about their character," said Wrasse.  This was Delatour's first fieldwork with Columbia NFWCO.  "Her positive attitude, enthusiasm, and quick smile under tough conditions were truly impressive.  She was especially excited to see species of fish new to her.  Delatour is a quick learner and a hard worker who has been a welcome addition to Columbia NFWCO."


Clemens has spent many days with the fisheries team on the Missouri River.  He has been a Columbia NFWCO volunteer for well over a year, logging an impressive 1,300 hours.  Clemens has recently received awards for his volunteer service and continues to be a fixture at our office.  His overall dedication and willingness to do the dirty work is remarkable.  Volunteers, especially Delatour and Clemens, are integral members of the Columbia NFWCO team. Wrasse said, "Their hard work makes life a little easier for the rest of us."


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