New Mexico Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office
Southwest Region

Outreach & Education

Photo of Angela James at the Middle Rio Grande for Bosque Prep NFIC release
Bosque Prep NFIC release. Credit: USFWS
Photo of cutthroat trout NFIC relase at the Rio Grande in Taos, NM
NFIC release in Taos, NM. Credit: USFWS
Photo of cutthroat trout NFIC relase at the Rio Grande in Taos, NM
NFIC release in Taos, NM. Credit: USFWS
Photo of stundent with NFIC tank at Sandia Prep
NFIC at Sandia Prep. Credit: USFWS
Photo of Sara Blocker and Angela James setting up tank at Sandia Prep for NFIC
Setting up tank at Sandia Prep. Credit: USFWS
Photo of Sara Blocker at Middle Rio Grande for Bosque Prep School NFIC release
Bosque Prep NFIC release. Credit: USFWS

Outreach and Environmental Education
New Mexico Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) works to engage local community’s interest in aquatic ecosystem and conservation while developing support for the Service’s goals and mission. New Mexico FWCO develops public support for conservation goals through public awareness and engagement and assisting with outreach events. These events, hosted by partners, include youth camps, career days, and environmental fairs. The New Mexico FWCO uses interactive activities and displays to generate enthusiasm among the public; our goal is to foster caring attitudes about native aquatic species. This is a step towards developing a sense of stewardship for all species among the public. Additionally, New Mexico FWCO highlights the offices field projects throughout New Mexico on New Mexico FWCO’s Facebook Page providing opportunities to explore our native fisheries and their habitats.

Native Fish in the Classroom Program (NFIC)
Native Fish in the Classroom is an environmental education program that provides students the opportunity to raise fish native to their communities in the classroom. While fish are in the classes, students have the opportunity to observe and learn firsthand about their fish.

The program works with local elementary and middle schools by providing them curriculum, aquariums, and native fish. After a period of 4-5 months, the students have the opportunity to release these fish into their native range. All fish are New Mexico native fish species like the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (state fish), Gila trout (threatened), Rio Grande silvery minnow (endangered) and other small-bodied native fishes of the Middle Rio Grande. The program aims to generate enthusiasm for natural resources and foster a sense of stewardship for our native fish and their habitats.

Although in classroom experiences are ideal, circumstances may exist in which we cannot get fish to the classrooms. To make the program accessible to students and teachers, we developed a virtual component to provide a suitable alternative that provides students access to content specific to New Mexico.

The video series is meant to complement the NFIC Manual and Activity Guides. The activities at the start of the manual are geared towards learning how to care for fishes in the classroom. However, the remaining activities can be stand alone and be used alongside the video series provided below. Observation are a key component of the NFIC program. In the classroom, students have the opportunity to sit and observe their fish. The goal of the following video series is to provide an alternative means to connect students to fish found within their communities serving as a surrogate for in-class aquariums. By viewing the videos, the students have the opportunity to complete observations of fish species not easily observed in the wild. The videos are approximately 7-minutes long and include a quick observation of a secondary animal found within the respective watersheds.

  • Native Fish in the Classromm Manual Cover page

NFIC Video Series on the Service’s YouTube Channel: Rio Grande Fishes
Rio Grande Video Series Teacher Reference (PDF, Coming soon)
Rio Grande Student Observation Sheet (PDF)

NFIC Video Series on the Service’s YouTube Channel: Gila Fishes
Gila Video Series Teacher Reference (PDF, Coming soon)
Gila Student Observation Sheet (PDF)

NFIC Video Archive:

Additional Fish in the Classroom References:
Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex

Friends of Northwest Hatcheries

Arizona Game and Fish Department

Trout Unlimited

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Dworshak Fisheries Complex

Puget Sound/Olympic Peninsula Fisheries Complex

Project Lead:  Angela Palacios; 505-342-9900 ext. 109: angela_palacios@fws.gov

 

Currents button
News release button
Fisheries news button

Last updated: May 12, 2021