Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
WOW - Stream Ecology at Roaring River State Park 
Midwest Region, November 1, 2008
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 It was a typical mid-October morning, cool and foggy…and the spring water of Roaring River had quite a chill. That didn’t inhibit the curious students of the Stream Ecology course at National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School held at Roaring River State Park in Cassville, MO. The students ranged in age from 8 to 70 and eagerly donned hip waders to get hands-on experience exploring streams. The course began with a brief introduction to stream ecology led by Patty Herman and Colby Wrasse of Columbia NFWCO. We discussed basic ecology, flooding, species adaptations, invasive species, disease, and human impacts on streams and rivers. Participants openly shared stories and experiences as well as asking pertinent questions. We were very fortunate to have a local stream expert, Mary Litvan from Missouri Department of Conservation, join our group after an impromptu invitation minutes before class began. Mary enthusiastically shared her knowledge of the unique invertebrate and fish communities inhabiting local streams. Everyone’s favorite part of the course was getting into the streams and learning how to use the gear. The students actively participated in sampling the stream communities by seining and dipnetting. Excited shouts and quiet musings accompanied discovery of darters, sculpins, minnows, crayfish and insects in our nets. The students also learned how to collect habitat parameters by using thermometers, dissolved oxygen, velocity and turbidity meters.

Participants, as well as the instructors, in Stream Ecology had a wonderful time and learned much about the ecology and inhabitants of streams in Southwest Missouri. Wonders of Wildlife provides a unique opportunity through these schools to educate and expose children (and adults) to conservation issues in their communities. By participating in this recreation and conservation school we can address our Public Use goal of the Fisheries Vision for the Future. This was also great opportunity to strengthen a partnership with Missouri Department of Conservation. A special thanks to Mary Litvan for her enthusiasm, willingness to help and for sharing her knowledge of stream ecology with all of us.

Contact Info: Patricia Herman, 573-234-2132 x170, Patricia_Herman@fws.gov
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