Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge staff support Big Canoe Float on the Missouri River
Midwest Region, July 11, 2009
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Big Muddy NFWR STEP employee Emily Magrowski distinguishes wildlife pelts for participants in the Big Canoe Float.
Big Muddy NFWR STEP employee Emily Magrowski distinguishes wildlife pelts for participants in the Big Canoe Float. - Photo Credit: n/a

          On July 11, the Big Muddy NFWR supported a successful outreach event on the Missouri river.  Organized by the Missouri River Communities Network, the 2009 Big Canoe Float recruited over100 participants. While navigating the Big Muddy waters, participants were given the opportunity to gain new insight on the Missouri River’s ecology and history with the help of employees from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources,  U.S. Geological Survey,  Missouri Department of Conservation, and the University of Missouri.

Floaters embarked their 9.5 mile journey beginning at Katfish Katy’s campground in Huntsdale and ending downriver at their docking point, Cooper’s Landing.  Pit stops were set up on sandbars along the river allowing participants to take a break from rowing and learn more about their surroundings.

On one sandbar, the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge put on several demonstrations featuring invasive plant species, turtles and other aquatic life, and provided samples of wildlife pelts and ancient bison bones found along the Missouri River.   

The next stop was California Island where a variety of displays were put on for participants. Staff of the USFWS Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office demonstrated the diversity of fish in the river with live specimens.  At another booth, representatives from Eagle Bluff Conservation Area of the MDC promoted their cause of habitat rehabilitation for migratory birds and many other species that thrive in and along the river. Nearby, USGS employees spoke on their current study of the shovelnose and endangered pallid sturgeon. Other stations focused more on the history of the Missouri River and the changes it has undergone since the days of Lewis and Clark.  

After working their way downriver, participants were able to relax at Cooper’s Landing and enjoy live music while sharing stories of their adventures on the Big Muddy. 

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