Friday, December 21, 2012

McNenny State Fish Hatchery

A lot has changed in the last year. Not only did we become parents, but also both Josh and myself have changed jobs. We thought we would take a few minutes and show you the places where we spend so much of our time and efforts.

8.12 Working hard.
As part of my outdoor education degree I needed to do an internship. I landed the most fun internships I could have imagined, at McNenny State Fish Hatchery. There is so much going on. Rearing fish, research, and visitors!!

McNenny is a cold water hatchery and rainbow trout and fall chinook salmon are the resident species. Lots of species have been raised there but these two seem to do remarkably well.

Very rarely are two of my days alike. Usually, I get to feed the fish in the morning, but after that I could be doing a myriad of things. I could be helping to cut metal for a project or spray painting them. I could be inside washing rearing tanks or outside sweeping the raceways clean. Sometimes the lawn needs to be water or mowed and I may be doing that. We move fish around the hatchery and I help out with that.

8.12  1 of 4 raceways at McNenny
Two things make working at a hatchery incredibly fun; stocking fish and visitors. If I go stocking that means part of the day is spent in the Black Hills delivering fish to lakes and creeks. Doing this completely makes my day.

Visitors are mostly around during the summer months. When I first started I was overwhelmed with the great questions that they had to ask and realized how much I had to learn. Now, I am confident in answering their questions and get excited when they ask something I'm not sure about. People from all over stop into the hatchery (it is located just off I-90) and it's nice to tell them about what goes on at a hatchery. McNenny is so unique in its rearing techniques and the amount of research that's done.

12.12 McNenny's Display Pond
One of the tasks that I've done this summer is to work with another intern (a great friend of mine) to create interpretive signs for the visitors. The signs cover topics like hatchery funding, fish identification, local geography, and the history of McNenny. I've really enjoyed this and it's influenced what I want to do in the future.

I have been really lucky to find a job that I enjoy going to everyday. When I leave for work, I know I'll have a great day, it'll be fun and I'll learn something.

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