Let’s Go Fishing with Fishin’ Buddies
BY JIMMIE GARTH, CARTERVILLE FWCO - WILMINGTON IL, SUBSTATION
the Bighead and Silver carp on our native waterways like the Illinois and
Mississippi River systems. Credit: Jimmie Garth, USFWS
The students work hard all summer writing essays on their experiences and how they can impact current and future interests as they progress in life. However, they were not let off the hook that easily, their workload was about to increase. Students were then split into groups which were then responsible for completing a research project which had to include a skit, poster presentation, PowerPoint, and a game to convey their findings. Each group was required to choose from one of the following topics for their research; 1) species and the environment, 2) genetically modified foods and food travel, or 3) renewable energy sources.
while working on her group presentation on invasive species. Credit: USFWS
One group highlighted the effect human interactions have on the current status of both endangered and invasive species. To illustrate the impact invasive species have on their environment the group created a game very similar to “Let’s Go Fishing”. In their game there were 12 fish total, nine of the fish were large invasive species (Bighead or Silver Carp) while the three smaller fish were native species such as Largemouth Bass or Bluegill. Any invasive species (large fish) that were hooked were worth three points while native species (small fish) were only worth two points. Two competitors would face off and whoever had the largest catch, based on points, after a minute was declared the winner. As illustrated in the game, the effect that invasive species have on native fish is large, however, can be greatly reduced with the management tools we have today. With educational programs, such as Fishin’ Buddies, to educate students as to why our natural resources, including endangered and invasive species, are so important we as a society are headed in the right direction.