Monday, August 20, 2012

A Summer Spent Fishing at JBH

My name is Taylor Brewer and today is my last day as a STEP student. I currently am going to WSUV to get my bachelor’s in biology.  I then hope to further my education at a more fisheries focused school, possibly UW or OSU.  I have known I wanted to be in the fisheries field since I was very young.  My dad started me off fishing when I was two and since then I have loved it.  As a kid all my friends wanted to be policemen, fire fighters, and doctors, while I wanted to be a fish hatchery worker.

Taylor then

This summer was one of my favorite summers ever. When I came into this STEP position I did not know what to expect. On my first field day I was amazed at the work I would be doing all summer in some of the most beautiful habitats. Most mornings I started off gearing up in my waders and canoeing to one of our sites. When we arrived we would conduct habitat surveys to determine if each sites habitat was suitable for salmon. We would then pull 4-5 seine nets to get a fish community sample. We caught a wide variety of fish including threespine stickleback, Chinook, suckers, and peamouth, to name a few.  One time we even had a large (~2 ft) common carp in our net. I also saw some amazing wildlife such as coyotes, elk, raccoons and so much more.

Taylor now

Before I started I had high expectations for this position and it by far exceeded them. I had a chance to meet a variety of people such as Donna Allard, Sam Lohr, and of course Jeff Johnson. They all taught me different things. Donna taught me how to love Lily pads (and big trucks).  Jeff taught me to always have two of everything.  Especially scales when it is extremely windy out.  Sam taught me the identification of many species of spiders, and one time in the excitement of trying to see one he flipped his kayak over.  They also taught me many things that will be useful for me in the future, like surveying habitat, deploying temperature loggers, and even the basics on pit tag array systems.  After staying on the refuge all summer I still am surprised how each slough, having their own minor differences, can be so diverse in their fish and wildlife community.

Submitted by Taylor Brewer  

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, fishing is one of the most exciting fields to study. You get closer to nature and you learn about the diversity of marine life. I’m glad Taylor had finally found what he really wanted to be. I hope he becomes an expert in his chosen field. Good luck!