October 20th, 2008
Nelli Williams, Trout Unlimited – Wyoming Coordinator
307-332-7700 x12 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WY Game and Fish Department, Lander Office
CUTTHROAT TROUT RESEARCH PROJECT ENGAGES LOCAL ELEMENTARY STUDENTS IN THEIR HOME WATERSHED
Dubois, Wyoming -- This fall, Trout Unlimited, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Dubois Angler and Wildlife Group, the Forest Service and other partners have teamed up to launch an exciting watershed research project and youth education program on the East Fork of the Wind River.
Recently, forty trout were tagged with telemetry transmitters in the East Fork of the Wind River and its tributaries. These trout will be tracked using radio receivers over the course of 8-10 months to record movement and find out things like: where trout spawn; how they move in relation to seasonal changes; and where they find refuge during hot summer temperatures and low water flows. This information will be used to identify and prioritize projects, bring in partners, and design, fund, and implement trout conservation projects in this important native Yellowstone cutthroat trout watershed.
To compliment this important research, we have gotten kids involved! A recent survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service documented a dramatic decline in the number of anglers across the country. Ultimately, the future of fishing, and many of our wild landscapes depend upon the commitment of future generations to learn, know, and love these resources and traditional forms of recreation. “We’re really excited to have students in the field and playing a role in the data collection and research,” stated Nelli Williams, Trout Unlimited Wyoming Coordinator. “There’s no better way to get kids involved than to take them out into nature’s classroom – the great outdoors”
So that students can learn more about their home waters, Dubois 4th, 5th and 6th graders will “adopt” several of the tagged fish, record their movements, learn about their lifecycle and adaptations, try their hand at fishing, and identify a watershed project that they can do to help their adopted trout. Each month, as the tagged fish are located in the watershed, the GPS points will be sent to the students so they can map their adopted trouts’ movements throughout the school year. After the recent field day one young girl said “I know what I want to be when I grow up…a fish biologist!”