Hi! My name is Abby Vogt and my global theme is Natural Resources and Sustainability. This past summer, for my Beyond the Classroom Experience, I interned at the Clark’s Fork Fish Hatchery. This fish hatchery is located in Clark, Wyoming and has 5 full time employees. I worked to rear fish from eyed eggs to catchable size for stocking. The purpose of rearing and stocking is to maintain sustainable fish populations in public waters while also providing anglers the opportunity to recreate in these waters. My summer experience directly connects to my global theme through the vital management of natural resources in the state of Wyoming.
I learned so much through this experience. Before the internship, I knew I had an interest in fish management, but I didn’t know a lot about the hatchery process. I learned about the entire process of rearing fish. I learned to properly care through feeding, sampling, cleaning, and stocking multiple fish species at once. During my time at the hatchery, we reared Fall rainbow trout, Eagle Lake rainbow trout, Bear River cutthroat trout, Snake River cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and Kokanee salmon. Many of these species we received as eggs and by the time I was done, they had grown enough to be transferred into the hatchery tanks and eventually to the outdoor raceways.
I didn’t realize how vital the management of fish species were in the state. Wyoming is a very outdoors focused state and thousands of people take pride in their ability to use its resources, especially fishing. Without the work of the ten hatcheries in the state, the populations of multiple fish species would be extremely diminished and sustainable populations of fish would not be possible. There are a lot of diverse perspectives in regard to natural resources and sustainability, especially in relation to fish hatcheries. There is the environmental perspective of maintaining populations but also the angler perspective of being able to enjoy fishing and the thrill of being in the outdoors. It is clear that many anglers care deeply about the management of natural resources to keep populations thriving in the state.
One of my favorite moments while working at the hatchery was when I was able to go stock a very popular lake in Cody. Beck Lake is a popular spot for families to enjoy fishing as well as swimming. Often during stocking trips, people will come up and ask what we are doing or what types of fish are being stocked. This time there was a family with two little kids that came up and asked about the stocking. These kids were super excited because they had never seen a stocking truck or watched a stocking occur. We often try to engage kids in stock trips to encourage future angling and outdoor experiences. We allowed the kids to drop a net of fish in the lake from the truck. They were very excited to be able to put fish into the lake and see them swim off. It is experiences like this that show kids what they can do in the future and it gets them excited about the outdoors.