Budding Fisheries Biologists Right Here in Central Maine

ArrayJune 6, 2017 at 2:38 pm

By IFW Fisheries Biologist Wes Ashe [caption id="attachment_2391" align="alignright" width="496"]Here are a handful of quotes from the awesome pack of thank you letters I recently received in the mail.[/caption] Working as a fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, I often get the opportunity to present in front of various lake associations, angling clubs, school groups, and universities. I enjoy speaking to folks who are also passionate about the natural world, state waters, fisheries, and fishing. Sometimes the presentations encompass serious topics like ending a once-renowned salmon program in the Belgrades or making regulation changes on important Kennebec River fisheries. But, most times the talks aren’t controversial at all. They are fun and interesting issues like brook trout habitat improvement projects, thriving wild lake trout populations, and exciting smallmouth bass fisheries. Earlier this spring, I had the chance to speak with Nicole Quirion’s 5th grade class at the Williams Elementary School in Oakland.  Nicole was teaching a lesson on Maine geography, animals, culture, and lifestyle, and asked me to spread a bit of fishy knowledge. Although the title of my presentation, ‘Managing Maine’s Inland Fisheries Resources’, was a bit lackluster, the presentation, I assure you, was not. The students were incredible. They were inquisitive, funny, good-listeners, cheerful, smart, well-spoken and behaved, and genuinely interested in the subject matter. They were electric, full of spirit and personality, and I was thoroughly impressed. There’s no need to worry, Maine. The future of our fisheries is bright. Right now, some pretty amazing budding fisheries biologists are walking the halls of Williams Elementary in Oakland, and they’ve got it covered.