Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Columbia FWCO Biologist Gives Fish Presentation for Local River Group
Midwest Region, July 14, 2009
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Missouri River Relief is a non-profit organization that specializes in river clean-ups. Our office has partnered with them in the past, lending boats and drivers to shuttle volunteers up and down the river. This group has organized the removal of over 450 tons of trash from the banks of the Missouri River and its tributaries. In addition to cleaning, the group does everything they can to promote recreational use of the river.   


The group has recently begun organizing presentations concerning Missouri River issues. Missouri River Relief’s lower reach manager, Steve Schnarr, contacted our office to find out if anyone would like to talk about Missouri River fish. Knowing that fish biologists like to talk about fish, he had no trouble getting the event set up. Steve was able to reserve the “river lookout” room at Les Bourgeois Bistro. This restaurant sits on a very scenic piece of property atop the Manitou Bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and a section of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. About thirty people showed up to watch Andy Plauck deliver a presentation entitled “Beyond Catfish: A Peek Below Muddy Water at the Diversity of Missouri River Fish.” Plauck showed dozens of pictures of Missouri River fish as well as a brief history lesson of Missouri River alterations. When all of the pictures were shown and questions answered, the group went out to the truck where several catfish and shovelnose sturgeon were waiting. Field crews had captured the fish earlier in the day and placed them in an aerated hauling tank. Just about all of the attendees wanted to hold, or at least touch the sturgeon.  


Partnering with a group like Missouri River Relief allows our office to reach diverse audiences and to tell the story of the endangered pallid sturgeon, as well as other fishes of the Missouri River. Judging from the interest showed by the attendees, the event was a success. A few fishing pointers were given out as well. Hopefully this presentation sparked some interest in utilizing the “Big Muddy.” For more information about Missouri River Relief’s programs, log on to www.riverrelief.org.

Contact Info: Andrew Plauck, 573-234-2132 ext 175, Andrew_Plauck@fws.gov
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