Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
A Cold Slimy Vacation
Midwest Region, January 5, 2011
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Winter break for most college students is a time for rest and relaxation, maybe even a vacation to a warm, sunny destination.

But for two University of Missouri students, winter break included a trip to the frigid Missouri River for some winter gillnetting.

During January, Jenny Foggia and Nicholas Fowler, college seniors majoring in Fish and Wildlife Management, bundled-up and joined us in our search for the elusive pallid sturgeon. They were interested in gaining more experience in fishery science, and we were happy to have a couple extra deck hands.

Both Jenny and Nick proved to be quick studies and were helpful in pulling nets and working up fish. They commented how the experience reminded them of “Deadliest Catch” (a popular television show about commercial crab fishing), but the captain of this boat wasn’t chain smoking and shouting profanities.

Although no pallid sturgeon were collected during Jenny and Nick’s short time with us, they did get to see shovelnose sturgeon, lake sturgeon, and even a northern pike and a muskellunge (very rare for the Missouri River).

Both of our volunteers seemed to enjoy their experience and said that it was a great learning opportunity. To date, during the 2011 fiscal year, Columbia FWCO has utilized 13 different volunteers for more than 140 total volunteer hours.

Utilizing volunteers allows us to better complete our mission and serves as a valuable community outreach tool.

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