April 2021 | By Julia Pinnix, Visitor Services Manager, Leavenworth Fisheries Complex
April is an exciting month at the hatcheries of Leavenworth Fisheries Complex in Central Washington. This is the time for releasing the young salmon and steelhead we have nurtured for the past twenty months. Every day, regardless of weather or other events, our production staff have cared for these fish. They feed them, clean their tanks and raceways, monitor the water flow and quality, drive off predators, and examine them for signs of health. Now they will release them into the river, hoping for the best as the smolts make their way downstream, into the Columbia River and out to the Pacific Ocean.
The feel of the wind in your face, the sound of a boat motor roaring down a river, the spray of water, the warm sun on your back and the smell of rotting flesh. This is what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists on the Sacramento River experience when conducting winter-run Chinook salmon carcass surveys.
The award is presented annually by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) in memory of Alison Haskell (1956 – 2006) to recognize an individual in North America who exemplifies extraordinary commitment to herpetofaunal conservation, as did Alison.
The Joint National Steering Committee (JNSC) has selected Susan (Su) Jewell as the recipient of the 2021 Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation.