Volunteers Needed for a Juvenile Salmon/Fish Community Ecology Study in Grays HarborFebruary 03, 2012
Wild Fish Conservancy is seeking volunteers to assist in an assessment of habitat use by the fish community (particularly juvenile salmon) in the tidally-influenced areas of the Chehalis River estuary (Grays Harbor) and tributaries. The sampling effort will use fyke trapping and beach seining to capture, identify, measure, and release juvenile fish from March to September, 2012. Habitat assessments will also be made to identify areas for future habitat restoration projects to aid in salmon recovery in the Chehalis Basin. Volunteers need to be in good physical condition (adequate for hauling seine nets and traveling across mud flats), be comfortable working from small boats, and be willing to work in adverse weather conditions. The effort will provide experience in field techniques, fish identification, data collection and habitat assessment. Free group lodging will be provided in Westport, but at present there is no funding for salaries or stipends. Volunteers do not need to commit to the entire study period, but during summer, preference will be given to those who can commit for longer time periods (weeks/months).
If interested, please contact James Fletcher (firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide a contact phone number.
Secondary contact: Todd Sandell (email@example.com)
We look forward to hearing from you!
Read what last year's Grays Harbor volunteers had to say:
“This project is an ideal way for individuals interested in the fisheries field to see for themselves what happens in the research stage while gaining valuable skills for future endeavors.”
“The daily research conducted by the team provided a wealth of opportunities  from simple boating experience all the way through fish handling and the chance to meet individuals working in the fisheries field.”
“ [During the course of the season] we had our fair share of windy and wet weather and early mornings, but honestly I found this to be one of the more rewarding aspects of the research. nothing beats the sense of accomplishment when you return home sore, tired, and sometimes muddy, after a full day on the water. I would highly suggest to anyone who is considering helping out to go for it!”
-Molly, 2011 Intern [Molly was recently hired by the California Department of Fish and Game]
“It was great to work outside and be on the water, and every day was different. I learned so much about fish, estuarine habitats, working on boats, and field research. There were definitely some [physical] challenges to the job. It was pretty much guaranteed we’d get wet [and] I was definitely sore from climbing in and out of the boat all day, pulling heavy nets, and carrying buckets of water.”
“Living at the field house in Westport was really fun. We all cooked dinner together and hung out after the day’s work, sometimes walking to the beach, playing board games, going out, or just relaxing and watching a movie. I would definitely recommend volunteering with the project, especially if you like fish [and] enjoy working outdoors .”
-Becky, 2011 volunteer
“Volunteering with Wild Fish Conservancy was a great introduction to the rigors of field work. In contrast to some positions, volunteers and interns aren't just given mundane tasks that don't further their education; we worked alongside the biologists gathering data. The biologists were all very informative. I learned a lot about salmon and other fish, as well as boats, research methods, other wildlife, knot tying, and how to cook a crab.”
-Elanor, 2011 Volunteer
“I found the biologists I worked with were always eager and willing to take the time to teach me how to identify the juvenile salmon fish species and other local fish species. I felt I was a part of the team and that my ideas and advice were taken in account.”
“This internship was one of the more enjoyable research experiences I have participated. It opened new opportunities for me and gave me a better understanding and respect for the biologists who dedicate their lives in this field.”
-Jess, 2011 Intern