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A rocky stream bed covered by a canopy of trees.
Information icon Rocks and boulders line the bottom and banks of this stretch of proctor creek. Photo by Katherine Taylor, USFWS.

E-Grits

Where southeast employees get their news

E-Grits covers news, notes, and highlights about the conservation work of our employees across the Service’s 10-state Southeast Region.

  1. Hundreds of shore birds line a sand bank with yellow oil boom in the background.
    Feb 6, 2019 | 4 minute read

    Any mention of Louisiana frequently d conjures up images of delicious Cajun and Creole food – po’boys, gumbo, jambalaya and more. “Barrier islands” probably won’t pop into most people’s heads. But these islands are vitally important because they protect Louisiana communities from the impact of storms by acting like speed bumps, absorbing wind and wave energy. In addition, they provide essential habitat for birds and other wildlife. North Breton Island, part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, is one such barrier island. Read the full story »

  2. Over twenty African-American students and members of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity posing for a photo.
    Feb 4, 2019 | 3 minute read

    While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. may not, at first glance, seem to have much in common, the two organizations, like birds of a feather, have been flocking together to develop young men as well as conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Phi Beta Sigma (Sigma) is a fraternal organization founded in 1914 that focuses on issues that impact African American communities. The fraternity has over 700 collegiate and alumni chapters across the country. Read the full story »

  3. Eight volunteers, half women, half men, pose in front of the welcome sign at Bayou Teche NWR
    Jan 30, 2019 | 2 minute read

    As the cypress and tupelo trees along the bayou began to turn their fall yellow and russet colors, an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team arrived in Southeast Louisiana. This traveling crew of eight young adults, aged 18 to 25, were excited to gain leadership and job skills while making a difference at Bayou Teche refuge. Their stewardship mission for three weeks was to repair an interpretive boardwalk that winds through a wetland area. Read the full story »

  4. A handmade bottlecap ornament hanging from a tree with a child in the background.
    Dec 20, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery hosted a Holiday Open House that drew more than 200 people to the hatchery on a chilly December day. Read the full story »

  5. Dec 13, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge in Brownsville, Tennessee, hosted 10 warriors for the refuge’s first annual Wounded Warrior hunt on Saturday, November 17. On hand to greet them were Tennessee State Senator Dolores Gresham, Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls, and Haywood County Mayor David Livingston. Community sponsors, Insouth Bank of Brownsville and Brownsville Exchange Club, provided a dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday. Refuge employees put up 10 blinds and tree stands and assisted the hunters. Read the full story »

  6. Three Service employees volunteering at a food bank with large packages of sweet potatoes
    Dec 3, 2018 | 2 minute read

    On Nov. 14, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff members volunteered to help the Treasure Coast Food Bank distribute food, toiletries, toys and other items to about 400 needy families in Fellsmere, Florida. This was done in conjunction with the food bank’s monthly mobile pantry distribution program, where they deliver and distribute donated goods to needy families in the communities where they live. Lindsay Nester (left) and Shana DiPalma prepare bags of toiletries. Read the full story »

  7. A Service employee in uniform pains a boys face at a fishing event
    Oct 24, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Friends of Wolf Creek hosted two annual fishing events for moderately to severely disabled students: the fourth annual Reaching for Rainbows Kids Fishing Derbies for Adair and Cumberland Counties; and the 11th annual Reaching for Rainbows Kids Fishing Derby for Russell and Clinton Counties. Read the full story »

  8. An elderly woman showing off three rainbow trout while others fish a small stream.
    Oct 23, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Friends of Wolf Creek hosted the 11th annual Catch a Smile Senior Fishing Derby on September 25, for anyone 62 years of age or older. More than 140 participants joined us for this event. Most participants were able to catch at least one fish during the three hour time-period, with many catching their limit within the first hour. A complimentary lunch was provided for all participants and their accompanying families. Read the full story »

  9. A man standing in front of a television screen in a conference room giving a talk
    Oct 17, 2018 | 1 minute read

    The 42nd annual Kentucky Association for Environmental Education conference was held in early September. Environmental education specialists Moria Painter and Ashley Buffington attended the conference and staffed a booth that provided information on the national fish hatchery system and the biologist-in-training program. Painter was joined by Randy Robinson from the National Conservation Training Center to give information to 23 educators about the online toolkit Conservation Connect. Read the full story »

  10. An instructor shows three onlockers how to properly tie a fly
    Oct 15, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek hosted a two-day, intensive Fly Fishing Conclave in mid-August. Twenty-eight eager anglers were immersed in learning from some of the best fly fishing experts in Kentucky. The conclave began with a presentation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Wolf Creek Powerhouse Superintendent on the flow of the Cumberland River. Other topics included basic gear and rigging, casting, entomology for the fly Angler, reading the water, nymphing, fishing with dry flies and streamers, tenkar and fly tying, and a question and answer town hall talk. Read the full story »

  11. Two dozen veterans stand in front of the visitors center at the hatchery showing off the larged striped bass they caught.
    Oct 11, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery hosted the seventh annual Wounded Warriors Fishing Event on September 11, 2018, for 20 American servicemen and servicewomen. The event began at 5:30 a.m. Participants received t-shirts, breakfast, and snacks before departing to Lake Cumberland for a morning of striped bass fishing. During the afternoon, the veterans enjoyed a catered barbeque lunch, a21-gun-salute provided by the local Disabled American Veterans, and a goody bag from the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. Read the full story »

  12. A group of almost two dozen women and children show off the jewelry they made.
    Oct 11, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery is hosting four nature-inspired craft workshops in 2018. Each participant took home at least four gift quality jewelry items. Read the full story »

  13. Oct 4, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Trout in the Classroom representative Roger Johnson visited Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery for help in setting up Fannin County High School’s Trout in the Classroom program Read the full story »

  14. A volunteer removes weeds from a pollinator garden
    Oct 4, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Inspired by the Service’s pollinator protection initiatives and a butterfly inventory in 2015, members of the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge formed a committee to begin work on establishing a pollinator garden at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. With a new headquarters administrative office site and acres of yard space surrounded by natural habitat, the Friends recognized an opportunity to simultaneously beautify the space, engage volunteers, educate guests, and add beneficial native plants for local pollinators. Read the full story »

  15. An outstretched hand holding a dozen mussels marked with id numbers
    Sep 28, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Ellison McDow and his grandfather Donnie Evans displaying Carolina heelsplitters that will soon be released on Mr. Evan’s property. Photo by FWS. South Carolina, like many states in the Southeast Region, is mostly made up of private lands. Therefore, these lands and their owners are crucial to any effort aimed at recovery of endangered species. Last fall, a number of private entities voluntarily contributed to the ongoing recovery efforts for the critically endangered Carolina heelsplitter, a freshwater mussel. Read the full story »

  16. Sep 27, 2018 | 1 minute read

    The Fishing for Angels Fifth Annual Bass Classic benefits Holy Angels, a residential campus for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read the full story »

  17. A woman holding an award flanked on both sides by leadership from the region and the migratory birds program
    Sep 27, 2018 | 3 minute read

    Karen Frizzell, administrative support assistant for two Migratory Bird Field Offices, celebrates 40 years of federal service this year. Thirty-one of those 40 years have been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Karen serves the North Carolina Migratory Bird Office located in Columbia, North Carolina, and the East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture Office in Atlanta, Georgia, and Daphne, Alabama. Karen, who lives in Auburn, Alabama, and attended Auburn University, calls her career experiences “AUsome,” filled with many happy memories. Read the full story »

  18. Sep 6, 2018 | 4 minute read

    Giant salvinia is an invasive floating fern from Brazil that can double its surface acreage in less than one week in optimal conditions. It has been spreading and causing problems in coastal Louisiana since 1989. Once it covers the water’s surface, this floating plant will begin to stack up upon itself, and can extend 12 inches or more above the water surface. Under such conditions, oxygen recharge of underlying waters is greatly reduced. Read the full story »

  19. A hillside with debris and trees snapped in half like twigs.
    Aug 9, 2018 | 4 minute read

    In September 2017, Puerto Rico was already reeling from Hurricane Irma, which had doused it with torrential rains and caused widespread damage. Then, two weeks later, Hurricane Maria roared through, killing hundreds of residents, wiping out buildings, entire landscapes of vegetation, and practically the entire electrical grid. It was the worst natural disaster on record for the U.S. commonwealth island, which is still recovering from the Category 4 storm. Read the full story »

  20. Aug 3, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Jon Wessman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s farm bill coordinator for Arkansas, , received the 2018 Rex Hancock Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Award presented by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in July, 2018. Jon Wessman with Rex Hancock Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Award, presented by Jim Taylor, Treasurer, Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Photo by Tom Edwards, Louisiana Migratory Bird Field Office, USFWS. The award recognizes Wessman’s contributions and commitment to the management, enhancement and restoration of wildlife resources during his 16-year career in Arkansas. Read the full story »

  21. Dozens of children line up with bows and arrows preparing to shoot at targets down range.
    Jul 18, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Kids love to have fun outside in the summer but sometimes the lure of electronics is more appealing. The Longest Day of Play event at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery is designed to spark the imagination of the participants and give them hands-on games and activities to do at home. This event, co-sponsored by the local Russell County Health Coalition and its partners, attracted more than 325 participants from the local community, three summer school groups, and a nursing home summer day camp. Read the full story »

  22. Three men help unload a 20ft tall pole from a flatbed truck.
    Jul 18, 2018 | 1 minute read

    The next time you visit Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, you may notice some tall wood poles near the outdoor classroom and Hatchery Creek. In a joint effort with the Service’s field office in Frankfort, Kentucky, and Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, Wolf Creek added two new habitats to attract bats. The artificial habitats consist of 20-foot wooden poles fitted with BrandenBark, an artificial bark designed to mimic a dead standing tree. Read the full story »

  23. Hundreds of visitors line a stream with fishing poles
    Jul 18, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery hosted its 32nd annual Catch a Rainbow Kids’ Fishing Derby in Jamestown, Kentucky on June 2. Each year, this event coincides with National Boating and Fishing Week and Free Fishing Weekend in Kentucky, offering residents and non-residents the opportunity to fish Kentucky waters without a license or permit. Alexandria Bevans, age 5, proudly shows off her catches. Photo by Ashley Buffington, USFWS Since the derby’s beginning in 1986, it has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Read the full story »

  24. A small garden with a few small shrubs and plants surrounded by concrete pavers.
    Jul 17, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery in Georgia continues to add to its butterfly garden with the expertise of hatchery manager Carlos Echevarria, who has brought the love of his lifelong hobby to the hatchery garden. With the addition of 83 new plants and 14 different species to the current 32 butterfly milkweeds, the garden will support all types of pollinators and will be a magnificent sight for all to enjoy. This ongoing pollinator restoration program will further help to recover endangered and threatened pollinators such as the the monarch butterfly. Read the full story »

  25. Jun 26, 2018 | 1 minute read

    YCC students Hope Barras and Joshua Cumbie assisting Camp Helen State Park in Panama City, FL with maintenance. Photo by USFWS. The Panama City Field Office welcomes two local teenagers, Hope Barras and Joshua Cumbie, who will take part in the 2018 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). This is a federally funded youth employment program facilitated by the Department of Interior. Hope and Joshua both attend Mosley High School and are leaders in the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program. Read the full story »

  26. Several dozen visitors surround a fast moving stream looking for trout.
    Jun 19, 2018 | 2 minute read

    On June 9, a total of 2,000 nine inch rainbow and 10 large display rainbow trout and brook trout were released in the creek below the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Celina, Tennessee, for the 21st annual Kids’ Fishing Rodeo. Held in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, the Rodeo is open to young people 15 and under. Some of the large display fish were caught during the event. Read the full story »

  27. A dozen plus children smiling while holding their Let’s Go Fishing activity books.
    Jun 19, 2018 | 1 minute read

    On June 14, 2018, dozens of students visited Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery in Suches, Georgia, as part of a local public school summer program. Project Leader Kelly Taylor and Program Assistant Crystal Thomas gave tours through the hatchery building and raceways as they talked with students, teachers, and parents about the life cycle of a trout, hatchery operations, and stocking. Tours included seeing a stocking truck and watching staff members feed fish. Read the full story »

  28. Five volunteers sit under an outdoor pavillion for students at the local elementary school.
    Jun 19, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Students at White Oak and D.F. Walker Elementary Schools in Edenton, North Carolina, have not just been reading about wildlife; they’ve been creating homes for wildlife right in their schoolyard. Over the past two years, students, teachers and many volunteers worked together to plant over 1,000 pollinator-friendly plants, enhance a wetland, and construct a trail and seating areas so that students will have their own space to learn outside. It’s called the Sandy Ridge Outdoor Classroom and it’s the students’ new favorite place at school. Read the full story »

  29. A kid shows off his catch of five trout.
    Jun 18, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery in Suches, Georgia, hosted a Seniors’ Fishing Rodeo for adults aged 55 and older on June 1. More than 200 people attended. On June 2, the hatchery hosted a Kids’ Fishing Rodeo for youths aged 16 and under. Six hundred young people came. Both events were free to the public. A senior shows off her catch. Photo by Crystal Thomas, USFWS. Rock Creek was stocked with beautiful rainbow and brook trout each day, with some fish weighing as much as three pounds. Read the full story »

  30. May 31, 2018 | 2 minute read

    On March 10, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Louisiana Ecological Services Field Office and the Baton Rouge Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office participated in the Healing House’s Family Adventure Day fundraiser and community outreach event in Lafayette, Louisiana Read the full story »

  31. hundreds of birds dot a small island below a bright blue sky.
    May 31, 2018 | 3 minute read

    As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rolled into fiscal year 2018, we ushered in many exciting changes to our Gulf of Mexico restoration initiative that emerged from the Global Settlement for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This comprehensive legal settlement resolved the governments’ civil claims under the Clean Water Act and natural resources damage claims under the Oil Pollution Act stemming from the 2010 disaster in the Gulf, the largest offshore oil spill in history. Read the full story »

  32. A fly fishing expert demonstrates how to cast a fly.
    May 31, 2018 | 1 minute read

    An increased affection for fly fishing has grown with the popularity of the newly extended Hatchery Creek that flows from Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. Last year, Moria Painter partnered with fly fishing experts throughout Kentucky to offer monthly fly fishing workshops on topics ranging from basic rigging and knots to fly tying. These workshops sparked an appetite for fly-fishing with newcomers to the sport from Kentucky and nearby states. Read the full story »

  33. Two Service employees investigate a bag for illegal wildlife parts.
    May 31, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Employees from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices in Kentucky met in Louisville, Kentucky, in February for their annual meeting that provides updates about projects throughout the Commonwealth. The meeting allows Kentucky offices an opportunity to highlight their successes from the previous year. The connections formed from the meeting produce year-long interaction and involvement among the offices. Represented at the meeting were the Kentucky Ecological Services Field Office, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, and the Office of Law Enforcement, Port of Louisville. Read the full story »

  34. Service biologist and refuge volunteer each hold their Kentucky Colonel certificates for the camera surrounded by friends and family.
    May 31, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Education Specialist Stacey Hayden, and long-time refuge volunteer Ray Stainfield, are Kentucky Colonels. The honored title is given in recognition of an individual’s contribution to his or her community, state, or nation. This respect is recognized by the Governor, and is the highest honor awarded in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ray Stainfield, a retired engineer, has served as a long-time volunteer on public lands in western Kentucky. He has volunteered for the U. Read the full story »

  35. Two dozen anglers stake out a spot along a rocky creek for a big day of fishing and fun.
    May 31, 2018 | 1 minute read

    On Friday, May 4, Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery held its sixth annual Veterans Appreciation Fishing Rodeo. More than 150 U.S. military veterans and family members attended the free event. About 2,800 beautiful Rainbow and some Brook Trout were stocked into Rock Creek for the event including a number of fish each averaging three pounds or more. Veteran Larry Akins with one of the large trout he caught. Photo by Crystal Thomas, USFWS. Read the full story »

  36. A woman and child playfully splashing a puddle in the pouring rain
    May 31, 2018 | 1 minute read

    More than 100 participants gathered at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery on April 14, to experience the third Annual Trout Trot 5K. Even in the rain, these dedicated runners had a great time. Participants came from as far as Florida to join in the hatchery run along picturesque Hatchery Creek. Participants comment that the race course is one of the best in Kentucky. Moria Painter attributes the continued success of this event to many race sponsors including, Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, Russell County Health Coalition, Stantec, Ridgewater, Eco Grow, and Sweetlife Natural Food. Read the full story »

  37. Eight employees in USFWS uniform pose for a photograph in front of a slash pine forest.
    May 30, 2018 | 3 minute read

    Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has many profound distinctions; but, none as great as the loyalty of its staff. 40 percent of the 20-person staff have more than 20 years of experience at Okefenokee, and all but one of those employees grew up around the Okefenokee Swamp. In fact, 12 refuge employees are from the local area. These staff members are well known in the communities around the refuge and have worked closely with surrounding landowners and local businesses that provide services to the refuge. Read the full story »

  38. Small pink birds with rounded bills wade through the shallow water.
    May 25, 2018 | 2 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is sponsoring the iNaturalist 2018 BioBlitz at the 130 national wildlife refuges and 14 fish hatcheries in the Service’s Southeastern Region, encouraging everyone to use the iNaturalist smartphone app to record species and share information on them. Read the full story »

  39. A woman wearing a warm hat preparing to plant a tiny spruce tree seedling.
    May 24, 2018 | 8 minute read

    The story of an ambitious effort to restore red spruce to the Southern Appalachians spearheaded by four women brought together by a commitment to the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River. Read the full story »

  40. A small fish covered in small, colorful polka dots of red and black
    May 16, 2018 | 3 minute read

    The Bayou Pierre River meanders for 95 miles through southwestern Mississippi, where it eventually flows into the mighty Mississippi River. More than 60 different kinds of fish make their home in its watershed, and one of them, the Bayou darter, has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1975. It’s the only place in the world where the little 2-inch fish is found. The darter likes shallow, fast-flowing streams with gravel streambeds, and those are plentiful in the Bayou Pierre watershed, although not as plentiful as they used to be. Read the full story »

  41. A creek runs through a forest.
    Apr 12, 2018 | 6 minute read

    Calhoun County, Alabama — Biologists Nathan Whelan and Paul Johnson weren’t sure what they’d find when they launched their boat on that balmy Alabama morning. Whelan, a biologist currently serving as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regional geneticist for the Southeast Region, was updating a scientific manuscript on the painted rocksnail, and needed the most recent information on its current range. The painted rocksnail is a rather cryptic-looking small-to-medium sized freshwater snail with yellowish-brown coloring. Read the full story »

  42. A mussel with fringe around its opening partially burried in the sand on the river bottom.
    Mar 22, 2018 | 5 minute read

    Asheville, North Carolina — In 1834, a freshwater mussel collected near the convergence of the Swannanoa and French Broad Rivers was recognized as a new species – the Appalachian elktoe. Eighty years later, Carnegie Museum curator and University of Pittsburg professor Arnold Ortman couldn’t find any elktoes in the French Broad River, attributing his failure to polluted water. Biologists search for Appalachian elktoes in the Mills River. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS. Read the full story »

  43. Large brick building.
    Mar 16, 2018 | 3 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region swept both of the Interior’s 2017 Environmental Leadership awards for energy conservation accomplishments in 2016. Congratulations to Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge and Mammoth Springs National Fish Hatchery, both located in Arkansas, for facility upgrades that won them Refuge of the Year and Fish Hatchery of the Year, respectively. Both facilities achieved LEED Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2016. Read the full story »

  44. Employee standing next to an information booth with a beaming smile.
    Mar 16, 2018 | 1 minute read

    On Jan. 27, 2018, I represented Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery at the 13th Annual Kentuckiana Fly Show in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Derby City Fly Fishers, a non-profit organization based in Louisville, hosts the Kentuckiana Fly Show each year, drawing about 400 members of the public. More than 40 exhibitors and vendors participated, including professional fly-fishing guides, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Representatives from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources were available to answer questions concerning regulations. Read the full story »

  45. Dozens gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
    Mar 15, 2018 | 2 minute read

    Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores is not only one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the Alabama coast, it’s also one of the few places where you can go from the primary dunes along the Gulf of Mexico to a maritime forest and uplands. “It’s like a snapshot of what the Gulf coast was like hundreds and thousands of years ago,” says Jereme Phillips, the refuge manager. Read the full story »

  46. Aerial photo of the education center with colorful fields of flowers and a red visitors center.
    Feb 28, 2018 | 3 minute read

    One of the great things about habitat improvement projects is that a seemingly simple project can lead to many conservation outcomes. That has been the case with the native grassland restoration project on the Fred Berry Conservation Education Center, located on Crooked Creek in Marion County, Arkansas. The 421-acre property, which is managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), lies within a long 2.75-mile bend of Crooked Creek, a premier smallmouth bass stream, in the Arkansas Ozarks. Read the full story »

  47. A visitor looks intently at an iPhone screen attached to a large photographic scope.
    Feb 28, 2018 | 3 minute read

    When St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on the Florida panhandle was awarded a $5,000 grant to encourage mobile photography on the refuge, staff originally planned to offer a class to children with an accompanying adult. However, few adults with children signed up for the first class. In addition, adults told refuge staff members that they would like to sign up but didn’t have a child to bring with them. After the refuge opened the classes to adults, more than 100 participants enrolled in the three-hour classes that have been offered in the last two years. Read the full story »

  48. two yellow flowers growing out of very sandy soil.
    Feb 28, 2018 | 4 minute read

    Restoration biologist Kate Healy felt the sun on her face as she stood on a sandy stretch of beach along Alabama’s Gulf coast. It was an unseasonably warm day on Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and Healy, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Gulf Restoration Office in Fairhope, Alabama, was ready to get to work. Kate Healy and Jackie Sablan plant ground chokecherry at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. Read the full story »

  49. Feb 28, 2018 | 3 minute read

    Every year, the Service honors science leadership through three national awards. This year, the Southeast Region has two nominees for those awards, Bill Uihlein and Yvonne Allen. Both have demonstrated visionary leadership and innovation in helping the Service use science to address complex problems. Allen, an ecologist from the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative, has been nominated for the Rachel Carson Award. This award recognizes scientific excellence through the rigorous application of science to a conservation problem. Read the full story »

  50. A hand holding eight endangered Cumberland bean mussels.
    Jan 30, 2018 | 1 minute read

    Expectations were high on Nov. 15, 2017, when personnel from the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Center for Mollusk Conservation anxiously harvested 15 cages that had been suspended in Lake Cumberland earlier in the spring. Each cage contained infested host fish and substrate suitable for juvenile mussels when transformation was complete. The hard work and the long wait were rewarded as the cages were lifted after almost six months in the lake and the counting began. Read the full story »

  51. A Service employee in uniform uses a small booklet to help students identify birds.
    Jan 24, 2018 | 2 minute read

    What could be better than spending a morning outside, taking in the fresh air, and looking for birds on a national wildlife refuge? On Dec. 30, 2017, the first Christmas Bird Count for Kids took place at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in south Florida. The original Christmas Bird Count is an annual bird survey organized by the National Audubon Society, attended mainly by adults and birding clubs. The counting tradition began more than 100 years ago and is one of the oldest wildlife surveys in the world. Read the full story »

  52. Dec 21, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The winner of Okefenokee’s third annual photography contest is Stefan Mazzola. He took a beautiful photo of the night sky over Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge during a three-day overnight trip to Monkey Lake. His photo was one of more than 90 submissions. Everyone who participated in this event helped to capture the essence of the refuge. The photos range from subjects of birds and alligators, to families and sunrises. The contest occurs each year in late summer with submissions being accepted until September 30. Read the full story »

  53. Two dozen primary school students gather around an instructor and a small fire.
    Dec 21, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Have you ever wondered how paper is made from trees? Do you know why it’s important to recycle paper? Do you know that when a log is cut at the saw mill everything is used to make different wood products? Why do foresters use prescribed burning for forested areas? What are some gifts from the forest? Just ask South Carolina a fifth graders who attended the Wood Magic Forest Fair at the the Service’s Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center in Awendaw, South Carolina in November. Read the full story »

  54. Dec 20, 2017 | 1 minute read

    On Nov. 29, 2017, Fannin County High School Agriculture Class students visited Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery in Georgia. Project leader Kelly Taylor and program assistant Crystal Thomas provided a tour of the hatchery grounds. Taylor spoke with students about hatchery operations, stocking, volunteering and careers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He encouraged interested students to apply for Youth Conservation Corps positions offered during the summer and explained that the program provides good experience for those aiming for an education and career in working with the Service. Read the full story »

  55. A man guides sugar cane stalks into a large wooden mill.
    Dec 20, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Each year, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia hosts a Pioneer Day event where visitors can witness what life was like during the homestead period of the 1800s and early 1900s around the vast Okefenokee Swamp. The event centers around the refuge’s Chesser Island Homestead and includes exhibitors and demonstrations representing the early swamper life. One of the event’s highlights is watching volunteers feed sugar cane into the cane grinder and see the sweet cane juice boiled down into cane syrup. Read the full story »

  56. Three men standing together look on at a drone they’re controlling
    Dec 20, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Have you heard the latest buzz? It’s not a rumor. That buzz is the sound of four whirring propellers that are part of the newest addition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) aircraft fleet. The Service recently purchased 35 3DR Solos, or drones. Also called unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), these drones have been used for more than a decade by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and U. Read the full story »

  57. Nov 30, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The Friends of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge was recently awarded a $12,420 Great Ideas Initiative grant from the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Florida. The grant will fund an intern to work with refuge staff members to enhance and expand the educational programs at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. A refuge volunteer teaches a group of students. Photo by Ronald Frendreis, refuge volunteer. Read the full story »

  58. Nov 30, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Chattahoochee Forest project leader Kelly Taylor and program assistant Crystal Thomas met with community representatives and volunteers in October, including representatives from Trout Unlimited chapters, government agencies, local newspapers, chambers of commerce, and a local radio station. Project leader Kelly Taylor presented appreciation certificates for volunteer support provided throughout the hatchery’s 2017 fishing and outreach events, including the Veterans Appreciation Fishing Rodeo, Special Kids Fishing Rodeo, Seniors Fishing Rodeo and Family Fishing Festival. Read the full story »

  59. A group of participants poses for a photo in front of the visitor’s center
    Nov 30, 2017 | 2 minute read

    What could be better than a beautiful, crisp, sunny October day spent at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery enjoying hands-on science fun? On Friday, Oct. 27, a 10-year tradition continued when more than 230 Russell County fourth graders spent the day immersing in nine exciting STEM stations at the annual Outdoor Eco Day hosted by Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Russell County Soil Conservation District. Read the full story »

  60. Nov 30, 2017 | 1 minute read

    On Oct. 23, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery staff members and volunteers from Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery attended the monthly Russell County Board of Education meeting for a special recognition ceremony. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Wolf Creek’s Reaching for Rainbows fishing derby for local children with moderate to severe physical and intellectual disabilities. Ashley Buffington accepts a commemorative plaque presented by Russell County School District Superintendent Michael Ford, and students, Tina Thomas and Matthew Pickett. Read the full story »

  61. A group of students gathers around an instructor on the bank of a creek.
    Oct 25, 2017 | 2 minute read

    On the second Saturday of each month, Kentucky’s Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery hosts a fly-fishing clinic that addresses an aspect of fly-fishing. In October, Rob Worthing of Tenkara Guides gave a presentation on the tenkara technique. Tenkara is an ancient Japanese fly-fishing method involving a rod, line, and single fly. The class provided hands-on instruction, with 15 participants learning how to rig, cast, catch and land fish with fixed line rods. Read the full story »

  62. An employee in a neon yellow shirt helps guide a heavy machine operator.
    Oct 24, 2017 | 3 minute read

    The little laurel dace, which grows to less than two inches long, is a freshwater minnow found in only six small streams on Walden’s Ridge, part of the Cumberland Plateau in central Tennessee. The federally endangered laurel dace. Photo by Conservation Fisheries, Inc. During their breeding season in May and June, both males and females exhibit stunning colors of black, gold, silver, and red. The laurel dace lives in pools and slow runs in clear, cool streams that are surrounded by dense riverbanks covered in mountain laurel. Read the full story »

  63. Three women checking out a poster.
    Oct 24, 2017 | 2 minute read

    A cool October day welcomed visitors to the annual Open House held at the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery in Georgia on Saturday, Oct. 14. The event was sponsored by the fisheries programs on site: the National Fish Hatchery, Fish Technology Center, and the Fish Health Center. Staff members and volunteers provided about 150 visitors with information on projects underway at Warm Springs and answered questions through the day. Members of the hatchery’s volunteer support group, Friends in Support of the Hatchery, were also there to welcome visitors and provide refreshments. Read the full story »

  64. A rainbow emerges on the tail end of a thunderstorm
    Oct 16, 2017 | 5 minute read

    Jessica Simmons is a resident of Florida, and is doing her to part to make it even brighter through her art and infectious positivity. I first caught sight of her photography on Facebook, and was immediately drawn to her use of light and color. Whether Jessica’s subject is landscape or a perched bald eagle you feel connected to the story behind it. Read the full story »

  65. Water flows freely under a new bridge.
    Oct 13, 2017 | 2 minute read

    In Lancaster County, South Carolina, more than three miles of critical habitat has been cleared for the Carolina heelsplitter, a mussel federally listed as endangered. Carolina heelsplitter. Photo by USFWS. The county is home to about one-third of the heelsplitter’s remaining occupied habitat. In South Carolina, the heelsplitter is only found in the Savannah, Saluda, Catawba and Pee Dee river systems in York, Lancaster, Chester, Kershaw, Chesterfield, Edgefield, McCormick, Greenwood, and Saluda Counties. Read the full story »

  66. Oct 13, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Pam Rule knows what it means to focus on a single project at time. What’s more, she knows what it means to focus on a single project for a long time – a very long time. For almost seven years, program analyst Pam Rule has dedicated her career to one project - and one important responsibility. Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010, Pam’s job has been to “follow the money” to ensure BP, the party primarily responsible for the spill, paid for the response-related costs incurred by the U. Read the full story »

  67. A child holding a rod looks on with amazement.
    Oct 12, 2017 | 1 minute read

    On Sept. 27- 28, 2017, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky hosted its annual Reaching for Rainbows Special Needs Kids’ Fishing Derbies for four local county school districts. These annual events were established to allow children with moderate to severe developmental and intellectual challenges the opportunity to connect with nature. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the event’s beginnings with Russell and Clinton County school districts, and the third anniversary for Adair and Cumberland county school districts. Read the full story »

  68. A senior holding a fishing pole with a wide smile.
    Oct 11, 2017 | 1 minute read

    On September 26, 2017, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky hosted its annual Catch a Smile Senior Fishing Derby, inviting anyone 62 years or older to participate. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the event, which was established to promote outdoor activity and connect senior citizens with nature. More than 130 seniors joined in on the fun – fishing at Hatchery Creek, sharing a complimentary lunch, and winning a prize. Read the full story »

  69. Oct 11, 2017 | 3 minute read

    “I was lucky and grew up with parents curious about the wild world,“ says Layne Hamilton, project leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Merritt Island National Wildlife Complex. When Layne was a child, her mother “would walk in with a garter snake in hand and say, ‘Look at this little tongue! Look, the little eyes are so cute.’ Read the full story »

  70. Oct 11, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Michael Stroeh, project leader of the South Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge Complex, received the 2017 National Realty Land Legacy award on Sept. 25, 2017. The Land Legacy award is awarded to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees or volunteers outside of the Division of Realty for significant contributions to the Service’s land protection mission. Read the full story »

  71. A dozen visitors sitting at picknic tables listen to the refuge manager.
    Sep 26, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Twenty-six delegates from around the world participated in a guided tour of Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, September 2, as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership program. The delegates were interested in the restoration projects at Bayou Sauvage and learning about how community partnerships assist with the refuge’s projects. The delegation included legislators, national park directors, biologists, conservationists, business people, and liaisons who are a part of a multi-regional project focusing on parks and protected area management. Read the full story »

  72. An entrance gate with a historical marker.
    Sep 26, 2017 | 3 minute read

    The 11,000-acre, privately-owned Oakland Club, located in Berkeley County, South Carolina, is now a permanently protected site for several state species of concern and federally protected species. These species include bobwhite quail, American chaffseed, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, red-cockaded woodpeckers, swallow-tailed kites, Swainson’s warblers, and Southern hognose snakes. Once home to Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion, the Oakland Club parallels the Santee River and lies between the Francis Marion National Forest and the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Read the full story »

  73. Several dozen veterans stand in front of the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery visitors center holding their catch.
    Sep 26, 2017 | 1 minute read

    On September 11, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky hosted its sixth annual Wounded Warriors Fishing Event for veterans who sustained injuries during their service. Twenty veterans participated in a guided striped bass trip on Lake Cumberland just after sunrise. the Russell County Honor Guard conducted a special ceremony to honor and remember our service personnel for their sacrifice. Participants were then treated to a catered barbecue lunch. Many participants tried their hands at fly fishing at Hatchery Creek after their meals. Read the full story »

  74. Sep 7, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Earlier today, Acting Southeast Regional Director Michael Oetker presented the Secretary’s Commendation Award to local refuge staff, Art Beyer, Rebekah Martin, Becky Harrison, and Scott Lanier, on behalf of US Department of the Interior, Secretary Ryan Zinke. These individuals led the refuge effort to expedite permissions for needed work to restore power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. Left to right: Art Beyer, Rebekah Martin, Becky Harrison, Scott Lanier. Photo by USFWS. Read the full story »

  75. Purple/grey and bright orange flowers bloom in a grassy field.
    Aug 31, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Monarch butterflies descend on the fields in droves, drawn by the abundance of milkweed, their favorite pollinator plant. Endangered northern long-eared and Indiana bats swoop through the sky. On the ground, biodiversity abounds, with rare plants like scurf pea and false gromwell. This little Eden - 160 acres now owned by the non-profit Southern Conservation Corps (SCC) – is a combination of forest and extremely rare prairie barrens habitat in Garrard County, a mostly rural county in central Kentucky. Read the full story »

  76. The sun begins to emerge from behind the moon during a solar eclipse.
    Aug 24, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge in Benton, Kentucky, hosted a Great American Solar Eclipse event for visitors from a dozen different states and five different countries on August 21. Visitors enjoyed one minute and 57 seconds in the shadow of the moon. While waiting for the total solar eclipse, visitors participated in activities including fishing, and learning about wildlife, fisheries, and illegal wildlife trade. The younger visitors were treated to a story time and a Kid Zone with a bouncy castle that allowed children to jump like a frog. Read the full story »

  77. A man posing for a selfie in front of the Pelican Island NWR sign.
    Aug 14, 2017 | 3 minute read

    When Jeremy Edwardson tells you he always wanted the type of job he has with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, you can take him at his word. While still only an undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Science in wildlife management at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, he’d already built an impressive wildlife-related resume. He was a member of the student chapter of the Wildlife Society; had served as the president of the student chapter of Ducks Unlimited; was a part-owner and the wildlife manager of a hunting outfitting business; had been a wildlife program guide at a prestigious hunting lodge; had led hunts for youths as a certified huntmaster with the Texas Youth Hunting Program; and had worked as a biological science aid as an intern at the Service’s Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Read the full story »

  78. A rocky stream bed covered by a canopy of trees.
    Aug 9, 2017 | 4 minute read

    There’s a stillness that only nature can provide, and the flowing stream is a peaceful break from the sounds of city life. “We’re here to show folks that there’s life in Proctor Creek. That even in urban settings there is nature and wildlife that needs protecting,” Johnson said. Read the full story »

  79. Small plants growing out of a low depression next to the parking lot.
    Aug 1, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery has completed its new onsite rain garden and outdoor classroom, a project that began in late March. This project was no easy feat, requiring substantial assistance from partnerships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wolf Creek Dam and Powerhouse, and the University of Kentucky Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. A rain garden is a shallow depression, planted with native plants and grasses, which is designed to capture runoff from nearby impervious surfaces. Read the full story »

  80. A Tennessee wildlife services employee in uniform helps a todler with a bow and arrow.
    Jul 31, 2017 | 1 minute read

    The Friends of Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery hosted the fifth annual Wilderness Day Camp on July 13. The event was co-sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee State Parks, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Activity stations included BB-gun and archery target shooting, water safety, a live barred owl, a dog care and handling demonstration, and fly rod casting. Eighty children and 30 adults attended the event at the Corps’ picnic shelter at the Dale Hollow Dam site. Read the full story »

  81. Jul 27, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The popular annual Kids Fish for Fun Day at the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery in Georgia attracted more than 300 children aged three to 12 on June 10. The event was held in conjunction with National Fishing Week activities. Volunteers from the Friends Group, Benning Bass Club, parents, and staff members all worked together to ensure the kids had a good time. A Benning Bass Club member assists children during the event. Read the full story »

  82. A sunrises over a stream.
    Jul 26, 2017 | 2 minute read

    In mid-June, five inner city youths from Portland, Oregon, visited the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge to meet with staff members, learn about careers in natural resources, and understand the importance of the refuge and the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The three-day visit was sponsored by Soul River Inc., a non-profit organization that introduces military veteran mentors and inner city youth to numerous outdoor and cultural experiences to promote leadership and environmental awareness. Read the full story »

  83. Jul 24, 2017 | 2 minute read

    On June 3, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery held the 31st annual Catch a Rainbow Kids’ Fishing Derby, a free fishing weekend. Read the full story »

  84. A mother and three children pose for a photograph at the hatchery.
    Jul 20, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery near Suches, Georgia, hosted a Seniors Fishing Rodeo for adults aged 55 and older on June 2 and a Family Fishing Festival for youth aged 16 and under on June 3. Both of the events drew large crowds. Read the full story »

  85. Two finely manicured hands reach for a tiny gopher tortoise hiding in its shell on sandy soil.
    Jul 20, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Ben and LouAnn Williams own approximately 3,400 acres of pinelands interspersed with bottomland hardwoods in Putnam County, Florida, between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. Their property contributes to conservation on a regional scale because it is adjacent to publicly owned conservation areas, creating an important link in a chain of conservation lands from central Florida to the Georgia state line. Sandhill after prescribed burn. Photo by Ben Williams. In 2012, the Williams’ began establishing longleaf pine on their property and reintroduced prescribed burning. Read the full story »

  86. A family looks at a diarama with USFWS staff.
    Jul 20, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky celebrated Earth Day in a big way this year, with not one but two events. This spring, Wolf Creek hosted an Earth Day event by partnering with many state and local agencies including The Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, Lindsey Wilson College, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Division of Water, and the Russell County Library. About 300 visitors participated in the event. Read the full story »

  87. A young boy jumping across a grassy field like a frog.
    Jul 20, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Kentucky’s Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery is proud of its long-standing tradition of collaborating with the local Russell County Health Coalition to promote healthy lifestyles in the community. Each June, we join our partners in celebrating the Longest Day of Play, a day set aside to celebrate the longest day of the year. The goal is to encourage physical, outdoor activity among children and families in the community. The event provides a great opportunity for community members to volunteer, play, and learn. Read the full story »

  88. Jundges pose for a photo with the winning art.
    Jul 20, 2017 | 2 minute read

    After studying waterfowl anatomy and habitat through this educational program, students may express their knowledge by drawing, painting or sketching an eligible North American waterfowl species and submitting it to the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest for a chance to be selected as the next Junior Duck Stamp. Read the full story »

  89. Two young children fishing in a kiddie pool.
    Jul 19, 2017 | 2 minute read

    On the morning of June 10, a total of 2,000 nine-inch rainbow and 10 large display rainbow trout and brook trout were released in the creek below the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Tennessee for the 10th annual Kids’ Fishing Rodeo. Held in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, the rodeo is open to young people aged 15 and under. The event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U. Read the full story »

  90. Jul 19, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery staff decided to expand this year when it came to culturing freshwater mussels in suspended cages in Lake Cumberland in Russell County, Kentucky. Read the full story »

  91. Jul 18, 2017 | 2 minute read

    On May 5, Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery near Suches, Georgia, held its fifth annual Veterans Appreciation Fishing Rodeo. Read the full story »

  92. A small grey snail with a beige/white shell on top of a fallen leaf.
    Jul 5, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Asheville, North Carolina - Wildlife biologists scaled the wall of the Nantahala Gorge on hands and knees - more climbing than hiking the steep terrain – searching for one of the rarest animals in the world in the wake of forest fires that burned through its habitat last winter. The noonday globe snail (Petera clarki nantahala) was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1978. The only place it was known to exist was a portion of the southern side of the Nantahala River Gorge, in North Carolina’s Swain County. Read the full story »

  93. Fuzzy yellow and purple flowers emerging from a green grass-like stalk.
    Jun 27, 2017 | 2 minute read

    American chaffseed is a perennial herb that has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1992. As part of an ongoing recovery effort, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently introduced 70 seedlings in Dorchester County, South Carolina. The project included Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife biologist Joe Cockrell, Service botanist April Punsalan, and Jeff Glitzenstein, a research associate with Tall Timbers. The seedlings were planted in an open area of restored longleaf pine forest and near the edge of a restored freshwater depressional wetland on an Audubon chapter preserve. Read the full story »

  94. A group of African-American women and children pose for a photo on a boardwalk in front of a forest.
    Jun 12, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The Fish and Wildlife Service entered into a nationally recognized partnership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – one of the nation’s largest and most influential African American organizations. This relationship supports the Service’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Program which provides opportunities for non-traditional audiences to learn about and enjoy natural areas and public lands around them. This partnership also sparked the creation of Zeta Phi Beta’s Pearls in the Wild initiative which introduces youth to the value of natural resources and nurtures the next generation of conservationists. Read the full story »

  95. Biologists in cold weather gear and waders collect lake sturgeon next to a dam.
    Jun 7, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery works cooperatively with partners that include numerous states, non-governmental organizations, universities, and federal agencies to achieve restoration goals for lake sturgeon in the upper Tennessee and Coosa Rivers in the southeastern United States. Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery has been involved, since 1998, with lake sturgeon production to improve culture techniques, feeding, fish health, habitat assessment, and telemetry studies. Hatchery staff members Carlos Echevarria and Chad Shirey traveled to Shawano, Wisconsin, in April to spawn lake sturgeon in the Wolf River, and transport fertilized eggs back to Warm Springs. Read the full story »

  96. A group of employees and volunteers clean up desbris along a dock and wetland.
    Jun 5, 2017 | 2 minute read

    More than 60 members of the Florida Sportmen’s Conservation Association (FSCA) partnered with employees of Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by removing debris from the refuge. They removed the remains of an old research site used years earlier to investigate the effects of nutrients on Everglades vegetation and water quality. The refuge was buzzing with activity well before sunrise as FSCA members arrived with their airboats ready to go. Read the full story »

  97. Two USFWS employees in uniform standing in front of the welcome sign at the hatchery.
    May 24, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Fishing events are rain or shine. Both events will be begin at 9:00am through 12:00 noon. Please bring your own fishing gear and bait; lunch and prizes will be included free of charge. Georgia sport fishing regulations apply. Senior Fishing Rodeo The Senior Fishing Rodeo will be held on June 2nd for adults age 55 and over. Family Fishing Festival The Family Fishing Festival will be held on June 3rd for youth age 16 and under. Read the full story »

  98. A pool formed on a rocky mountain top in front of a sunset.
    May 22, 2017 | 5 minute read

    Since 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Georgia ecological services office started counting the tiny green plants that can only be found in vernal pools on granite outcrops during the rainy season from December through March and during mid-summer rain events. (Vernal pools are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals.) Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Heggie’s Rock, all in Georgia, are granite outcrops. Because they are protected, they are some of the only granite outcrops where rare endemic green plants, such as the federally-listed black-spored quillwort, mat-forming quillwort, and pool sprite, can still be found. Read the full story »

  99. A woman stands behind a table with USFWS and DOI logos on Earth Day.
    May 22, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Crystal Thomas and Kelly Taylor of Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery represented Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery at the first annual Earth Day Expo at Hamilton Gardens on Lake Chatuge on April 22, 2017. The Hiawassee, Georgia, event drew hundreds of visitors. Crystal and Kelly educated visitors about the environment and the importance of good stewardship. Other agencies at the Expo included county soil and water conservation agencies, local river watershed coalitions, trail conservancy groups, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and the USDA Forest Service, to name a few. Read the full story »

  100. A biologist in a red shirt poses in front of a display with a corn snake.
    May 22, 2017 | 2 minute read

    For the past 35 years, Charleston, South Carolina, has gone wild during the month of February. In what has become known as the largest event of its kind in the nation, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition never fails to disappoint. The three-day art and wildlife exposition exceeded attendance records this year with over 43,000 attendees. Chris Hernandez, South Carolina Field Office’s Coastal Program Biologist, with Penny, the corn snake. Photo by Whitney Wiest, USFWS. Read the full story »

  101. Two USFWS employees in uniform standing in front of the welcome sign at the hatchery.
    May 18, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Project Leader Kelly Taylor and staff represented Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery at the second annual Trout Fest on April 29, 2017, at Blue Ridge in Fannin County, the Trout Capital of Georgia. The event drew thousands of visitors and showcased dozens of environmentally oriented agencies, organizations and vendors. Hatchery booth visitors were interested in trout fishing and stocking programs and eager to learn about the environment and good stewardship techniques to protect and conserve the trout waters in north Georgia. Read the full story »

  102. A USFWS biologist in uniform stands behind a display table.
    May 18, 2017 | 1 minute read

    “Kids are the future. We must educate them now so they will better understand the environment and practice good stewardship as they grow into adulthood,” said Kelly Taylor, project leader of the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery. On April 7, Kelly took the opportunity to speak with students at the Woody Gap School Agriculture Day in Suches, Georgia. He has represented the hatchery at Woody Gap Agriculture Day for the past several years by reaching out to many students. Read the full story »

  103. A bearded man wearing a bike helmet and kit in front of wildflowers.
    May 3, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Wylie Carr’s job as a social scientist for conservation is to look at the forests to help save the trees for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. He sees conservation as an inherently biological and social endeavor. Read the full story »

  104. A man stands in front of a power point presentation.
    May 3, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Steve Traxler, science coordinator for the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative, presented accomplishments from Southwest Florida at the White House Roundtable on Resilient Lands and Waters Partnership. The President’s Priority Agenda for “Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources” directed federal agencies to work with states, tribes and other partners to select flagship geographic regions and identify priority areas for conservation, restoration, or other investments to build resilience in vulnerable regions, enhance carbon storage capacity, and support management needs. Read the full story »

  105. A biologist showing off a Louisiana pinsnake.
    May 3, 2017 | 1 minute read

    On March 11, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Louisiana Ecological Services Office and the Baton Rouge Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office participated in the Healing House’s Family Adventure Day fundraiser and community outreach event in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Healing House provides support for children grieving the loss of a loved one. The Service’s station was one of 43 activity locations that families could visit throughout Lafayette. More than 250 participants selected the Service’s activity as one of their adventures. Read the full story »

  106. Dozens of people huddle around the banks of a shallow creek with fishing rods.
    May 3, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The Friends of Wolf Creek NFH are ramping up to prepare for another successful year of fishing events. Each year, Wolf Creek NFH hosts five fishing events for various constituents including children, wounded veterans, senior citizens, and local children with physical and intellectual disabilities. Each event provides a day of fishing and outdoor fun, including complimentary lunch. Approximately 4,500 individuals enjoy these events. With the total cost of combined fishing events topping $46,000 dollars each year, Friends of Wolf Creek NFH relies heavily on sponsors and donations to keep the events free. Read the full story »

  107. A large group of employees pose for a photo on the banks of the Green River.
    May 3, 2017 | 1 minute read

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees stationed in Kentucky met for the annual All Employee Meeting on February 22, at Mammoth Cave National Park in Cave City, Kentucky. Originally, this meeting was to be hosted at the Ecological Services office in Frankfort. Instead, the Ecological Services staff hosted the meeting at a more centralized location. Representatives from the Ecological Services office, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, law enforcement, and Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery provided updates for each field station and reported new employees and recent retirements. Read the full story »

  108. May 3, 2017 | 5 minute read

    The Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office in Jackson has added three members to our team: Tamara Campbell, Kelly Morris and Timika Morris (no, they are not related.) The new teammates started off the new year in their new jobs – and we couldn’t be happier to have this new dynamic trio on board. Tamara Campbell is new to the Fish and Wildlife Service, but not new to conservation. Her background is in forestry and wildlife, and she has been in natural resources for 12 years. Read the full story »

  109. A tiny snail held in front of a vast marsh.
    May 3, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center entered an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership (UWRP) and were selected as recipients of a 2016 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grant. The grant, Apple Snail Adoption Program: Teaching Youth about the Effect of Invasives on Natural Ecosystems, will involve at least 500 students in Palm Beach County in propagating and restoring native Florida apple snail populations and removing invasive exotic snails at both the refuge and Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve. Read the full story »

  110. A man standing in front of a new wooden kiosk.
    May 3, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee Refuge volunteer Dennis Kendrick spent 309 hours building an outdoor kiosk at the refuge’s north entrance. During his stay in Mississippi, Dennis also helped with several other tasks including mending a broken levee, maintaining roads, and drawing up several plans for upcoming refuge projects. He and his wife Jean are now exploring Louisiana and its many refuge volunteer opportunities. New North Entrance to the Sam D. Read the full story »

  111. A female volunteer adding fish food to a pond.
    May 3, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery had the luxury of having several amazing volunteers recently donate their time at our facility: Bonnie Stevens, Sharon Hucks, Aaron Ruud, Cindy Wright, and Macey Canerday. During their time at the hatchery, they coordinated and executed several community outreach events, including bringing in the local high school art students to paint a hatchery- themed mural in the entrance area of the aquarium. Other activities included providing tours and organizing and planning events. Read the full story »

  112. Biologists wearing white gowns head-to-toe walking through nets in a marsh holding whooping cranes.
    May 3, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The whooping crane reintroduction effort is well underway in southwestern Louisiana. Since 2011, 10-16 hatched juveniles have been released annually here into the non-essential experimental population (NEP). The original release pens are located at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area, and in 2016 a new release area was added 19 miles to the south at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. The expanded release areas allow the NEP to receive more juvenile cranes for release into the wild. Read the full story »

  113. A male and female volunteer work on a trail with shovels.
    May 3, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Volunteers play a vital part in the daily operations at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. They staff the visitor contact station with coverage 364 days a year and help with daily fish production needs. A rare opportunity occasionally presents itself when volunteers with exceptional skills arrive. This winter, Wolf Creek was fortunate to have John Adams and Julia Hoss join the team for a trail reroute project. They brought a wealth of trail building knowledge and experience to the hatchery, having both worked several seasons at the national Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Read the full story »

  114. A deer similar in appearance to a white-tailed deer, but much smaller in size
    Apr 12, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The unexpected New World screwworm infestation of the endangered Key deer confirmed September 30, 2016, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was found on 13 Keys and led to 135 Key deer deaths. Screwworms are fly larvae or maggots that infest warm-blooded animals through open wounds and feed on living tissue. They were formerly eradicated from the U.S. in the 1960’s. The herculean effort to eliminate screwworms and save the Key deer was recently celebrated at a public meeting on March 25, 2017. Read the full story »

  115. Employees and volunteers in personal flotation devices unload oyster shell from a boat.
    Mar 10, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Dozens of people got their feet wet in the Indian River Lagoon on February 28 while building an oyster reef breakwater at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Vero Beach, Florida. The reef is designed to prevent further erosion of iconic Pelican Island, which has already decreased in size by 60 percent from its original 5.5 acres. Over a span of about six hours, staff and volunteers from several agencies transported (by truck and by boat) about 600 bags of fossilized shells and stacked them around a small mangrove island near Pelican Island proper at the refuge that bears its name. Read the full story »

  116. May 5, 2016 | 1 minute read

    A team of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists, with assistance from U.S. Geological Survey, have developed a collaborative conservation strategy examining cost-effective approaches for efforts to conserve and manage 36 imperiled freshwater fish and mussel species in the 22,360 square-mile Upper Tennessee River Basin. The strategy identifies aquatic species conservation objectives and recommends a management approach for conserving and recovering prioritized species and locations across the basin. Read the full story »

  117. A dark grey bird with bright red inflated ball under its neck.
    Apr 3, 2016 | 3 minute read

    While thousands of non-breeding magnificent frigatebirds can be found across the coastlines of Florida and the Caribbean during many months of the year, there is now only one known breeding frigatebird colony in North America. Read the full story »

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