Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Something Fishy is Going On in Hallsville!
Midwest Region, May 16, 2008
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For the fourth year in a row, Columbia National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) participated in Aquatic Day hosted by Hallsville Elementary School.  Aquatic Day gives fourth grade students the opportunity to experience some of what our natural resources have to offer.  Courtney Culler, Patty Herman, and Colby Wrasse represented Columbia NFWCO at this year’s event.  Accompanying us were live native fish.  Students had the opportunity to closely examine some common Missouri River fish including shovelnose sturgeon, channel catfish, freshwater drum, and goldeye.  The students peppered us with many excellent questions regarding the fish and the habitats in which they live.  We also had the opportunity to quiz students on fish physiology and anatomy, and we were impressed with the students’ level of knowledge.  Students also had the chance to view some of the fish sampling gears we use.  In total, we talked to 108 fourth grade students along with several teachers and parents.  Aquatic Day was an excellent opportunity for us to educate children on the aquatic resources they will one day inherit.  Hopefully, through direct experience and education these children will make wise choices in the future which will benefit aquatic resources.


Other activities at Aquatic Day 2008 included angling for bass, bluegill and catfish, water rescue demonstration, aquatic invertebrate collection and identification, fish art, and fish songs.  Remarkably, Hallsville has celebrated Aquatic Day for over two decades.  In fact, this event is one of the few things about Hallsville Elementary School that hasn’t drastically changed.  Hallsville is representative of many towns across the Midwest.  This once small farming community is growing and changing from a rural landscape to one that is distinctly more suburban.  In many communities, this shift is often followed by a change in values, and sadly some of the old traditions are lost along the way.  However, Hallsville Community School has seemingly embraced the future without losing touch with the past.  Each classroom at Hallsville is equipped with computers for every student, and teachers teach from an interactive digital screen.  Despite the change in paradigm, Hallsville still retains its old small town charm.  And for at least one day a year, children get to shut down the computers, turn off their cell phones, unplug the I-pods and just go fishing.  It’s a good thing.  


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