Monday, February 25, 2013

Career Fair Do's and Don'ts

As this was my first career day, I was a little nervous.  It really was kind of silly.  No-one there knew that I was a Career Fair novice, but just the same, nervous I was.  I had my baby fish and placed them into an egg jar.  And of course the egg jar kept fogging up.  Here I am with a wadded up Kleenex dabbing at the glass of my egg jar every few minutes, barking out my catchy tag line:  “Wanna see my babies” (note to self, develop new catch phrase).

I place my brochures neatly upon the table, and then rearrange them, re-straighten, rotate, and move them to the other side of the table completely.  I pull out my handful of free gifts, and then move my brochures back to where they started.  

Next to me is Sgt. Joe Slickter, or Sgt. Slick as he introduced himself, and GI Joe for a chuckle to the mobs of kids surrounding the Army National Guard table.  He had posters, notebooks, stickers, pencils, pens, videos, and more.  He had me out gunned at every angle.  As I’m meekly calling kids over to look at my babies, Sgt. Slick is barking out orders to a throng of children.

“Come over here” he orders.  I take note of his firm voice laced with confidence.  “Now write this down” he instructs.  The kids peek over to my table to see if my free pencils are sharpened.  As it turns out, the Junior High kids were apparently on a “freebie” scavenger hunt and all my goodies were gone except a handful of six inch wooden rulers.  I couldn’t believe those were still sitting there as there are so many uses for six inch wooden rulers.

And that’s when it happened.  A kid showed up who was truly interested in fish.  Well, you don’t need to prod me with a ten foot pole when it comes to talking fish science.  As we talked another kid came up.  He told me he wanted to be a Phlebotomist, like a vampire, sucking blood.  A fish pathology diamond in the rough I figured.  

I didn’t make the connection with that many more children, unlike the brew beer at home stand, but by the end, I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I may have possibly just found a couple of kids to help with the caretaking of our living resources, be it for the USFWS or the Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho or one of the many other entities involved in the field.  And these kids definitely took something away from me, specifically a pencil and a notebook.

by Jeremy Sommer

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nursery Tank Face-Lift

Dworshak National Fish Hatchery has 64 fish rearing tanks in their nursery that are getting a new "face lift" this January. These tanks are part of the original infrastructure from when Dworshak was constructed in 1968. Unfortunately, time has taken it's toll on the surfaces inside the tanks. After 45 years of use, the "cream" in the concrete mixture, that was used to build the tanks, has slowly eroded away, exposing the rock aggregate underneath. The aggregate's rough surface is hard on both the newly ponded fish, as well as the fish culturists that are caring for them. Between fish cycles, the tanks are hosed out and disinfected to prevent the spread of any potential fish health diseases from spreading to future fish. The aggregate surface leaves more surface area for bacteria to hide, making the disinfection process more challenging and time consuming.

Local contractors, along with Dworshak personnel teamed up to resurface the fish tanks, in an effort to fortify the concrete and add many more useful years to them. This process required financial funding by the Corp of Engineers, along with a commitment of time and hard work by the contractors and hatchery personnel. The tanks had a concrete resurfacer applied to the rough aggregate surface, followed by a green primer coat of paint, and finally, a gray, two part epoxy paint coating was applied. The tanks are now smooth to the touch, sealed and ready for the young steelhead to be put into them. Thankyou to everybody involved in this process and for seeing that everything ran smoothly and was finished in a timely manner.

40-years of water erosion on the Nursery Tanks

A very rough surface, indeed!

The same tanks after re-surfacing with concrete patch.

The first primer coat of epoxy.

Finished epoxy coating.....ready for the next 40 years!