Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Education Day on the Flooded Big Muddy!
Midwest Region, June 19, 2010
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When planning an event on a large river, it is good to have an alternative “high water” plan. A local partner of ours, the Missouri River Communities Network (MRCN), has found that out for the second year in a row. Last year’s event was delayed due to early summer flooding on the “Big Muddy.” But a few weeks later we were able to give presentations for local paddlers as they took a sandbar break from the “Big Canoe Float.”


This year, the organizers upped the ante and made the event into a canoe race with the natural resources presenters at the finish line festival. As luck would have it, the river continued to rise as the event neared and a change of plans was in order. With only a few days to shuffle plans, the race was postponed but the “Floody Muddy” educational day was born.


To start the event off, the MRCN representative gave a brief presentation about rain barrels, rain gardens and the importance of lessening urban run-off. Columbia FWCO fish biologist Andy Plauck was on hand to talk about the fish of the Missouri River with an emphasis on the endangered pallid sturgeon.


Live fish are always a great presentation aide, and this event was no exception. Tim Haller from the Big Muddy NFWR presented information about the refuge and how the refuge lands help buffer the flooding when the river spills onto the adjacent floodplain. Steve Schnarr from Missouri River Relief presented the organization’s “trash totals” from Big Muddy clean-ups and interesting items found in the river.


This event was a great opportunity for the organization and agencies  involved to inform stakeholders of the work being conducted on and around the river. Partnering with other agencies for outreach events is an important component of the Fisheries Program’s Vision for the Future. Hopefully everyone in attendance took home a better understanding of the Missouri River Ecosystem.

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