Tag Archives: Training

Finding Inspiration

Windsor, Ontario

Law Enforcement Committee Annual Meeting

I was eager to give the Law Enforcement Committee members a synopsis of my symposium at the 145th American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting last month. I described the objectives and structure of the symposium in addition to comments and questions generated by the audience. The committee members were pleased that they were well-represented at the fisheries meeting. The members also recognized the importance of maintaining this type of representation and exposure at future fisheries meetings. The committee members made me feel like my Fenske Fellowship project has been successful thus far. I think they are looking forward to see what we can do together in the future.

Sometimes I wonder if my research is going to produce meaningful results; results that can be used and will actually impact something or someone. Sitting in this meeting and listening to the questions, concerns, and stories discussed by the committee members reaffirmed, for me, that my research is important. I think I am finally at the point where I can successfully define meaningful research objectives and goals – without the experiences the Fenske Fellowship has provided for me, I fear this realization may have never come.

We ended the Law Enforcement Committee Meeting with another training. The objective of this training was to instruct the committee members on the proper identification of turtle species in the Great Lakes Basin Region. I do not encounter turtles very often in my research, so the species identification was difficult for me. My favorite turtle was the snapping turtle, mainly because it was the largest and most active of those we observed.

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A common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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A wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

LESSON #25: Fisheries law enforcement is just one component of fisheries management. All components must collaborate and work together to implement effective fisheries management.

LESSON #26: The GLFC Law Enforcement Committee is interested in learning about how it can improve fisheries law enforcement on a basin-wide scale.

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Bichirs are Bizarre

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Lake Committee Meetings: Round 2

I drove from East Lansing to Ann Arbor, Michigan this week to attend part of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Lake Committee Meetings for a second time as a Fenske Fellow. If you are interested in reading a fuller description of what goes on during the Lake Committee Meeting, please refer to “Law and Order and Fish.”

Law Enforcement Committee Mid-Annual Meeting

As you may recall, the Law Enforcement Committee holds its mid-annual meeting during the Lake Committee Meeting. The Law Enforcement Committee often organizes a training or workshop to correspond with their meeting as a way to build skills and increase proficiencies among the committee members. This week, the committee organized an invasive species training at the University of Michigan. The objective of the training was to instruct the committee members on the proper identification of common aquatic invasive fish species that can occur, or are expected to occur, in the Great Lakes Basin. As anyone who has taken an ichthyology class knows, fish identification is often difficult because many fish species look familiar (especially at a young age!). Our training leader, Dr. Kevin Wehrly (Michigan Department of Natural Resources), laid out several preserved aquatic invasive species for us to touch and observe. We were also given books and short summaries to read that provided helpful identification information. Though the carp species were relatively easy to identify, I had difficulty differentiating among the rudd, goldfish, and more common golden shiner. I particularly enjoyed observing the snakehead. In this training, the snakehead was contrasted with a bichir or reedfish, which is native to Africa and the Nile River.

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Can you identify the species? (From T to B) Northern snakehead (Channa argus), bowfin (Amia calva), and a bichir or reedfish (Polypteridae). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

After the training, Doug Nelson, the Collection Manager at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology (UMMZ), gave us a tour of the facility. The UMMZ maintains incredible zoological collections for use in research, outreach, and education. According to the UMMZ website, the collections (P.S., Can you find me on the homepage?) include about 15 million specimens total, comprised of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, fishes (3.3 million specimens, representing 90% of all orders!), mollusks, mites, and insects.

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The view down one of the hallways in the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology Collections facility. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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Reptile specimens! Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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The results of my aquatic invasive species identification quiz. I think I got a 100%! Photo credit: Molly J. Good

LESSON #15: If it is difficult for fisheries scientist to identify a fish, then it probably even more difficult for a member of the general public to identify a fish.

LESSON #16: Workshops and trainings are essential in building skills and improving proficiencies.

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