Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Tons of People Attend Tons of Trucks 2010
Midwest Region, April 7, 2010
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(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) - Photo Credit: n/a
(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) - Photo Credit: n/a

Amidst roaring engines and blaring horns an enthusiastic crowd gathered, eagerly awaiting their chance to see the show.  Children jostled for position in hopes they might get a better look.   What could possibly cause so much excitement?  Believe it or not the answer is fish – shovelnose sturgeon and catfish to be exact. 

The setting was Tons of Trucks, an annual event hosted by Columbia Parks and Recreation, and once again Columbia FWCO’s live fish exhibit was a huge hit.  The Tons of Trucks event gathers trucks and equipment from a wide range of disciplines for the purpose of teaching children and their parents about different career fields and the equipment they use.   

At this venue children had the opportunity to see fire trucks, police cars, road construction equipment, and this year an electrofishing boat along with some live fish.  Cliff Wilson and Colby Wrasse staffed the live fish exhibit, showing children the unique characteristics of these native Missouri River fish. 

Curious children were able to touch the live fish while learning all about these unique creatures.    Meanwhile, Tracy Hill and Patty Herman staffed the electrofishing boat, helping the excited kids aboard and answering questions about the boat and their jobs.  And Rick Hansen from Columbia ES was on hand to photograph the fun. 

This was the third year that Columbia FWCO has participated in Tons of Trucks.  Although this may seem like an unusual venue for fisheries outreach, it has proven very effective at reaching a large audience.  This year alone an estimated 3,740 people attended.  That’s a lot of people who now know a little bit about the Missouri River, native fish, and the conservation work we do. 

It's always encouraging when you feel like you reached someone and made a difference.  This was the case with one little boy who stopped by this year.  He informed us he was now an expert on sturgeon because he saw them here last year.  He proceeded to hang around the fish tanks for a longtime telling everybody all he remembered about the fish.  It was obvious that our message had reached this child, and that is why we do outreach. 


Contact Info: Colby Wrasse, 573-234-2132 x30, colby_wrasse@fws.gov
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