Ways to Get Involved

The Midwest Fisheries Center offers environmental education activities for community groups and schools. In addition, the center can lend fishing poles to local community groups. Every July, the center co-sponsors Youth Outdoor Fest in La Crosse, Wisconsin in partnership with La Crosse Parks, Recreation and Forestry.


Volunteer opportunities are available for those 16 and older. For volunteers aged 16-17, a parent or guardian must be present. There are many fulfilling projects to help with including fishing days with children and veterans, school environmental outreach events, the annual Youth Outdoor Fest and indoor projects like net mending and data digitization. Volunteers are invited to staff potlucks. 

Our Partners

The Whitney Genetics Laboratory works with numerous partners to accomplish our mission. Within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we work with numerous fish and wildlife conservation offices on invasive carp eDNA monitoring. We also work with other Service genetics labs around the country to develop and standardize new methods. Other federal partners we regularly collaborate with include USGS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lab also works with the many state partners in the upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes basin on invasive carp eDNA monitoring as well as university researchers.


Office staff make visits to school groups, participate in career fairs and sports shows and host public events in order to share their knowledge and passion for natural resources with the community. Along with a network of fantastic volunteers, staff are also active in supporting and participating in the events of other conservation agencies.