Southwest Fisheries
Southwest Region

Environmental Education

Recreational Fishing and Outdoor Education

The Southwest Region Fisheries Program's Recreational Fishing and Outdoor Education Program targets communities in which our stations are located and the youth of those towns, villages, and cities. Our primary objective is to foster healthy interaction between people and the outdoors; demonstrate how the USFWS and conservation play important roles in local communities; introduce natural resource career opportunities to young adults; and develop recruitment mechanisms for future employees with programs such as the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC).

Outdoor Classrooms:

Youth Conservation Corps

The Youth Conservation Corps was created in 1970, the program allows local youth between the ages of 15-18 to participate in an 8-week paid summer program; this program is an innovative way to teach our youth about preservation of wildlife and habitat. Region 2 Fisheries has active YCC programs at the following facilities:

Students interested in applying for the YCC program should visit their local hatchery website.

Biologist in Training (BiT)

Biologist in Training LogoBiologist in Training is an exciting program designed to guide students through a fun, hands-on exploration of aquatic habitats. The activities are adaptable to fit a variety of needs. Several stations in the region have used portions of the program in their educational programs.

The BiT program includes fun, interactive activities that will help students gain the skills needed to be good biologists and discover why it’s important to care for our precious aquatic resources. Students can download the booklet Here. Once students complete all activities they are eligible to receive an official Biologist-in-Training certificate and patch or sticker! Just take the booklet to any participating hatchery or conservation office for your certificate, or mail the sign off sheet to:

US Fish and Wildlife Service
Biologist in Training, Room 9100
500 Gold Ave SW
Albuquerque NM, 87102

Native Fish In the Classroom

The NFIC program works with local elementary and middle schools by providing them curriculum, aquariums, native fish and biologist support. After a period of 4-5 months, the students have the opportunity to release these fish into their native range. Each year participating classrooms are provided with native fish to their area, these include: Rio Grande cutthroat trout (NM), Apache trout (AZ), Paddlefish (OK), Paddlefish (TX), or with native fishes of the Middle Rio Grande (NM). The program aims to generate enthusiasm for natural resources and foster a sense of stewardship for native fish and their habitats. Please visit hatchery or conservation office websites for more details.

NFIC Flyer

Image of cover page of the NFIC Manuel

School Yard Habitat Program

School yard habitat logoThe Schoolyard Habitat Program helps teachers and students create wildlife habitat at their own schools. Typical projects include: wetlands, meadows, forests and variations based on specific ecoregions. Many projects are planned through multiple phases and change over time as children from various classes build upon the existing work of past students. We work with your school to provide: technical assistance and project guidance, teacher training, develop written materials.

The goal is to provide technical and organizational assistance to school, so they can create outdoor classrooms that are effective as educational tools in addition to being a sustainable habitat for many years to come.

Please download the following Fact Sheet or the pdf guide for more information on the Schoolyard Habitat Program.

National Fishing in Schools Program

NFSP is a school program, which teaches the positive lifetime activity of fishing to students in middle schools and high schools. NFSP educates students about fish, insects, aquatic environment, resource stewardship and conservation using fishing, and learning the skill of casting, as the instructional tool. Schools interested in participating should visit hatchery and conservation office websites for more details, or visit the NFSP website.

Visit a Hatchery

The staffs at National Fish hatcheries are always excited to share and educate the community, but really enjoy working with the youth of their communities. Many local schools, day cares, and other groups visit our hatcheries annually. Education programs include; fishing, birding, outdoor classrooms, fish art, Archery, BiT, YCC, and hiking. For more information on specific hatchery environmental education programs please visit individual hatchery websites. For groups interested in hatchery tours please visit each hatchery directly, additionally many hatcheries offer self- guided tours for drop in visitors. Click here for a map of the Southwest Region Hatcheries and Conservation Offices.

Program Contact

Environmental Education - Fisheries
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Southwest Region
Albuquerque, NM, 87102
Phone: (505) 248-6865

Kids Zone image

Coloring pages
Image of Gila trout coloring page Image of humpback chub coloring page Image of Razorback sucker coloring page Image of cover page for coloring book
Print on duplex and flip on the short edge
Gila trout Humpback chub Razorback sucker Rio Grande Silvery Minnow


Links to fun and exicting adventures from your friends at U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

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Last updated: October 15, 2015