Fisheries Biological Aide with Clearwater Fish Hatchery in Ahsahka, Idaho
During this co-op term, I have been working with the Idaho Fish and Game Department as a Fisheries Biological Aide at Clearwater Fish Hatchery. I assist with daily hatchery operations such as feeding fish, cleaning raceways, assessing growth and body conditions of fish, and a variety of other tasks. Clearwater Fish Hatchery is a large facility that raises Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout, so I get to undertake a wide variety of tasks, and my day-to-day responsibilities are ever-changing. Recently, the hatchery has been collecting adult Steelhead Trout as they return to the Clearwater Basin to spawn, and I have gotten the exciting opportunity to aid in the collection of these fish. Myself and my coworkers interact with local anglers and collect data on the fish we see in the field. It is rewarding to see that the fish we raise in the hatchery make the journey from the Pacific Ocean to return back to their spawning grounds. Talking to local anglers helps me understand the positive difference the work I am doing makes. This co-op work term has given me the ability to learn new skills and understand how fish hatcheries operate. I am grateful for the opportunity co-op has given me to apply what I have learned in class to real-life work experience.