Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge hosts Missouri Master Naturalists
Midwest Region, July 10, 2008
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The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge along with the Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office hosted a field trip on July 10 from the Boone’s Lick Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalists.  The field trip focused on the Missouri River and included a boat trip on the river for the Master Naturalists to observe the natural resources of the river.


Twenty participants from the Master Naturalists took part in the field trip.  Refuge Park Ranger Tim Haller and Refuge Law Enforcement Officer Michael Blessington provided information about the refuge including ways to enjoy the refuge from the river. 


Tracy Hill Project Leader and Cliff Wilson Fisheries Biologist from the Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office provided live fish from the river for the Naturalist to observe.  They provided information about their research on the Missouri River and specifically the endangered pallid sturgeon.  A detailed comparison between the common shovelnose sturgeon and the pallid highlighted the topic of discussion. 


The boat trip focused on a trip through a constructed side channel called Tadpole Island Chute.  The chute construction occurred in 2004 and 2005 as part of the Corp of Engineers mitigation for loss of fish and wildlife habitat due to channelization of the Missouri River.  The host Naturalists experienced active erosion as the high water in the chute dynamically created more natural side channel conditions of the Missouri River. 


Special thanks to Katfish Katies, they provided a private boat ramp on the Missouri River to stage this event. 

Contact Info: Tim Haller, 573-441-2799, tim_haller@fws.gov
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