BY ANGELA BARAN-DAGENDESH, GENOA NFH
After working with the Hine’s emerald dragonfly for almost 20 years, both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of South Dakota are finding out there is still much to learn! At the beginning of the captive rearing program at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH) in 2014, there were thought to be three “absolutes” regarding the species (later found to be assumptions!)
The Genoa National Fish Hatchery, WI, hosted it’s Kids Ice Fishing Day, a tradition for the last decade. Participants ranged from 5 to 12 years of age. Staff made sure to auger plenty of fishing holes and gear was provided to the young anglers. It didn’t take too long before the fish started biting.
“When the fish was flapping it’s fin it felt like it was bigger than it is. I caught the biggest fish in my family,” said 5 year old Kassidy.
Kids and parents/guardians alike learned about the traditional Northwoods skill of ice fishing on the hatchery pond, well stocked with plenty of rainbow trout.
In addition to the National Fish Hatchery, several other agencies made the event possible. These included Friends of the Upper Mississippi River Fisheries Service, La Crosse Fish Health Center and the La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office.
February 9, 2019, marks the 148th birthday of Fish and Aquatic Conservation, created under President Grant as the U.S. Fish Commission. That commission, 69 years later, morphed into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Barton Warren Evermann exemplified the scientific capabilities of early Fish Commission workers that exists among FAC staff today. Evermann described for science many new species of fish and located field stations such as present-day D.C. Booth National Fish Hatchery & Archive, South Dakota, and San Marcos Aquatic Resources Center, Texas, where fisheries conservation continues today.
Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time. If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing, out on the water for the day.
Please note that the individual states may place certain restrictions and other regulations may apply, so be sure to contact your state fish and wildlife agency for specific state regulations.
The Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Recognition Program recognizes a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee who has designed, implemented, or shown visionary leadership in an interpretive or environmental education program that fosters a sense of wonder and enhances public stewardship of our wildlife heritage. Early this month, Cheri Anderson, information and education specialist at the Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex received this national award. We could not be more proud of Cheri and, while it is impossible to list her impact on the people, places, and partnerships in the Pacific Region, here are a few of the ways she has inspired a giant, and lasting, Sense of Wonder in her 20 years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Congratulations Cheri and to all the regional nominees!
November 2018/ By David Eisenhauer
On a warm afternoon last August, Matt Negron stood with his toes at the edge of a mossy pond at Berkshire National Fish Hatchery in western Massachusetts. His eyes were fixed on the tip of his neon-green Zebco fishing rod. The rod twitched, twitched again, then bent down sharply.
“I’ve got one! I’ve got one!” yelled Negron, a 17-year-old from Manhattan with dark curly hair, half of which was dyed orange.
For the first time in eight years, chinook salmon have returned to Thornton Creek, in northeast Seattle, to spawn!
That’s the sound of a barbless beadhead nymph falling into a glassy glide of Mineral Creek, a headwater stream of the Gila River in southwest New Mexico. There’s a short drift over a stony run, barely time to mend your line. Then follows that transmutation of fish flesh to your forearm—the taut tug of a trout on your 3-wt. fly rod.
But it’s not just any trout. This one is yellow like a school bus. Petite black shards fleck its flanks over a hint of a pink stripe and fading oval parr marks. It’s not a rainbow trout—no, this fish is far less common. Rare, even. It’s a Gila trout, a threatened species.
What’s Halloween without monsters? But not all monsters live under our beds or are the stars of horror movies. Some are real-life monsters found in America’s waterways. Though they’ll never be stars of slasher films or trick-or-treater costumes, monster fish can be terrifying but in some cases, they need saving too.
There are monster-sized fish that can weigh hundreds of pounds. Some are shocking in appearance with beady eyes and mouths lined with sharp teeth. And then, there are the invasive monsters, steadily overtaking our lakes and rivers like alien monsters from outer space. Scary, yes! But each of these species are also a part of the aquatic-conservation mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
This story was originally published on our new Medium blog platform
This year’s severe storms underscore the power of nature and the vulnerability of our coasts. While nature can destroy, it can also defend. Supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery, we’re working with partners to restore and strengthen natural systems that provide not only habitat for wildlife, but also protection against rising seas and storm surge. This is the first in a series of stories highlighting results of our ongoing efforts to build a stronger coast.
“What did the fish say when it hit the wall? Dam!”
Ohio’s Maumee River, which 100 years ago supported thousands of lake sturgeon, is now the center of a recovery effort for the ancient fish. We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have partnered with the Toledo Zoo, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Purdy Fisheries, University of Toledo, University of Windsor, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help re-establish this living relic in the river and Lake Erie.
A large project is underway to reintroduce a small species of tiger beetle to an area they have historically referred to as ‘home’. When the puritan tiger beetles were listed as threatened in 1990, conservation efforts began to help protect current habitats locations and keep the beetle from becoming further extirpated.
The Puritan Tiger Beetle Recovery Project was initiated to help restore the beetle to its current and historic habitats along the Connecticut River. The Recovery Project team utilizes the Richard Cronin Aquatic Resource Center in Sunderland, MA as the official site to conduct the necessary lab work for the project where they work together everyday to ensure the project runs smoothly.