Fisheries, Midwest Region
Conserving America's Fisheries

Fish ID Program
Fish ID Program


Aquatic Invertebrate Investigations - Fish Identification and Ecology Programs

Children receive hands-on learning about insects or live fish that live in the water. Biologists set up the “ponds” and students get an opportunity to scoop up water critters or touch live fish. They also learn identification, the habitats they live in and how inverts are indicators of water quality. This program helps connect kids with nature.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Careers: Fish Biologist

How many hours do you work? Do you get to work on a boat all day? How much money do you make? What kind of schooling do I need to be a biologist? Learn the answers to these questions, what La Crosse FWCO works on, and more during this program.

Dinosaur of the Deep - Lake Sturgeon

Learn about a prehistoric fish that still lives today! They are the largest and oldest fish of Wisconsin. Families will learn how big lake sturgeon get, where they live, how sturgeon have adapted to survive in their environment, and many of the problems they have overcome to exist today. Fish biologists will teach students about how they are trying to keep these fish from having the same fate as the dinosaurs. Children will also find out what they can do in their own homes to improve the life of a sturgeon.

National Fish Passage Program

As part of the National Fish Passage Program, the La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office works in cooperation with a variety of partners to help restore natural river processes and improve in-stream and floodplain habitats for native fish, mussels, and other aquatic organisms in rivers and streams that have been fragmented by dams, culverts and other barriers. Our efforts to restore ecological function are focused on tributaries within the Upper Mississippi River basin in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and the Red River basin in Minnesota.

How About a “Shocking” Experience

Join a biological technician from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they show you how fishery biologists sample fish with a “shocking” demonstration. Students will observe three types of electrofishing methods and equipment used in each type. Students may also have a chance to test their identification skills on the live fish sampled from the backwaters of the Mississippi River.

Citizen-Science – Mayflies

If you reside, travel, work, or recreate near the Upper Mississippi River, join a network of volunteers who help monitor the annual health of Old Man River by observing and reporting the seasonal pulse of mayfly emergence events occurring here each summer.  Become a citizen-scientist who explores and reports on a natural phenomenon attracting worldwide attention! Learn More

Youth Outdoor Fest/ Fishing for Fun Backpack (Outreach Event/Library Resource)

La Crosse FWCO works with their Friends Group and La Crosse Park and Recreation each year on the annual Youth Outdoor Fest that brings in close to 2,000 people. This is a hands-on event for kids to get them interested in doing activities outside. Kids can catch a fish, shoot a bow, drive a boat, paddle a canoe or kayak, play games, learn fur/fish/feather identification, ride a pontoon, and much more. Fishing for Fun Backpacks, assembled and maintained by our Friends Group, is located at all the local Libraries in the Winding Rivers Library System. Backpacks have an aquatic theme with hands-on activities relating to fishing, freshwater mussels, aquatic invertebrates and spending time near water bodies. Fishing for Fun Backpacks contain a telescopic fishing pole, tackle box and tackle, fish identification cards, local maps for fishing spots, fishing guide book, aquatic invertebrate nets, invertebrate collection tips, magnifying glass, freshwater mussel shells/quiz, mussel identification book, Russell the Mussel book, scavenger hunts, Secchi disk, and natural resources journal and identification books. These backpacks can be checked out from libraries just like a book. Both of these programs help kids to get outside and connect with nature.

Last updated: February 26, 2014