Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Notes from our PATHWAYS student.

If you keep up with the CRFPO blog, you might recall seeing my name a few entries back. My name is Christina Uh; I am one of just two PATHWAYS students working at the Columbia River Fisheries Program Office. I currently am a member of the administrative team in the office, working as a student office assistant. Or if you prefer fancy titles, I am an “Office Automation Clerk”.

To give you a quick snapshot of who I am, you would need to know four important things:

1)      I am (very proudly!) the first in my entire family to go to a 4 year university.

2)      I am a member of the Navajo Nation (not tribally enrolled) from my mother and Hispanic from my father. Specifically, my father is from a little place called Oxcutzcab, Yucatan and we have the indigenous Mayans’ blood running in our veins! Pretty cool huh?

3)      I love being outdoors, fishing, hiking, and the Portland Trail Blazers.

4)      I LOVE my family and my dog Maddie (check out her cute face below).

My job here at the office is pretty great. Some of the things I get to work on are; making sure timesheets are correct and ready to be certified, any and all things relating to our staff traveling for work, and other miscellaneous office duties. I consider myself to be two times luckier than the average student office assistant because I also get to spend some time away from the desk.

Once a week I pay a visit to Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery to feed larval lamprey, or “my little dudes” (as I like to call them). There are 20 tanks, each containing 8 lamprey that all get fed different treatments as part of a captive rearing project. I also try to take advantage of any volunteer activities that I can. For example, over the summer I spent a day working with a crew at the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge catching White-tailed deer for relocation.
I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work at the CRFPO. Not only do I learn something new every day I go to work, I also get to expand my skills in multiple different areas. I get to learn the “behind the scenes” portion of fisheries work, as well as gain some hands-on, in the field experience. Something I could not have done at just any ol’ office position.
Hiking at King's Mountain

Submitted by Christina Uh. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fish Marking Team Wins Prestigious Columbia River Fisheries Program Office Team of the Year

Each year the fish marking crew is responsible for the marking of over 30 million fish in the Columbia River Basin.  This may mean simply removing the adipose fin, inserting a coded-wire tag into the fish snout, or a combination of the two.  In addition, over a quarter million fish are PIT tagged.      

Mass marking refers to the removal of the adipose fin from young hatchery fish before they are released into the wild.  Removal of this fin identifies hatchery fish from their wild counterparts.  In selective fisheries, hatchery fish may be harvested while wild fish must be released unharmed.  Federal law now requires mass marking of most salmon and steelhead reared at federally funded hatcheries.

Pictured left to right:  Jesse, Geoff, Dan, Darren, Pat, Steve, and James  (Chuck is not present)
The team begins each year with a few PIT tagging jobs in the Columbia River Gorge.  By mid–February, the crew starts their biggest single marking job at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery.  They run three automated fish marking trailers (2 shifts a day) for almost two months.   Just to give you an idea about the enormity of the job, about 12 million fish are mass marked at this hatchery alone.  In addition, a small portion of those are also being inserted with a PIT tag or coded-wire tag. 

PIT-tagging at Dworshak NFH
This team has been voted the CRFPO Team of the Year because of their hard work and dedication.  The following saying was adapted from James Farley:  Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the marking crew from the swift completion of their appointed duties.  With that, Congratulations Fish Marking Team!

Read more about the marking program at these past blogs.      Staggering Numbers http://www.fish-notes.blogspot.com/2012/02/staggering-numbers.html