Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Trails!

Columbia River Fisheries Program Office IT Specialist Mike Margeta has decided to call it a career.  Mike will be retiring effective Aug. 31, 2012.   After spending 5 years in the United States Army, Mike began his federal career with the Internal Revenue Service in 1990 as a management assistant.   In 1993, Mike joined the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a computer specialist at the regional office in Portland, Oregon.  Mike’s career with the Service then led him to California for a time where he provided computer software analysis and design, data communications, programming and maintenance support for the Sacramento/San Joaquin Estuary Fishery Resource Office.  Mike returned to Oregon in 1996 when he became the computer specialist for the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office.  In this position, Mike provided computer support for 5 Ecological Service Offices, 7 Refuges and 2 Law Enforcement Offices.   In April of 1998, Mike crossed the Columbia River to become the IT specialist for the Columbia River Fisheries Program Office, his current position.  Mike has been a valuable member of the CRFPO team over the past 14 years.  He has helped support the computer needs for upwards of 60 people on a daily basis.  Currently, he is putting the finishing touches on an IT Continuity of Operations plan for the office.  In retirement, Mike looks forward to spending more time with his children and playing the guitar, one of his passions.  He is planning on taking some college classes as well.  We appreciate Mike’s years of dedicated service and wish him a long, happy retirement.
Submitted by Larry Fishler

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