Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

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Alabama’s Freshwater Fisheries Chief Retires

Stan Cook retired on June 1 after almost serving for fifteen years as the Fisheries Chief of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. Cook served under three division directors during his tenure as chief. Some of the changes under Cook’s direction include building and staffing the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center, establishing the HEART habitat program, development of the Rivers and Streams Fisheries Management program, and creating the Creek Kids program.

Beginning his fisheries career in Georgia, Cook transferred to Alabama where he worked in several different positions. His Alabama career began on September 28, 1983, as a hatchery biologist at the Eastaboga Fish Hatchery. Within four years, he was promoted to State Lakes Supervisor in the Montgomery Office. In October of 1996, he was promoted to Assistant Chief of Fisheries and in November of 2000 to Chief of Fisheries.

A retirement party to honor Stan was held on May 28, 2015, at Lanark, a facility of the Alabama Wildlife Federation.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.OutdoorAlabama.com.

Aquatic Education at WFF

The Fisheries Section of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division gave 102 talks to 3,831 participants during the first three quarters of the fiscal year. Of those talks, 44 talks were with the handson Creek Kids program. 110 fishing classes were given to 3,217 students. Casting classes were popular at schools, 93 classes for 4,632 participants. Thirty-four community fishing events were conducted for 6,591 participants; these are usually held with partners. WFF personnel worked eight educational events also. The Fisheries Section is working on a training program to empower volunteers to teach fishing classes throughout the state.

Creek Kids Coming to State Parks This Spring

The Conservation Department’s successful aquatic education program Creek Kids will soon be available for school field trips at select Alabama State Parks. This spring, park naturalists at DeSoto and Oak Mountain state parks will be offering a modified version of the original Creek Kids program conducted at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park near Birmingham.

The Creek Kids program teaches students in grades 4-8 the complex and intertwined nature of a watershed with its surrounding man-made environment. During the field trip, students will learn about the impacts of dams on waterways, and work with interactive educational models to illustrate how pollution moves through aquatic environments. Students will also collect fish with a net and view various aquatic animals with microscopes.

Many species of fish and aquatic invertebrates, including some types of crayfish, mussels and snails, live only in Alabama. Students attending Creek Kids have a good chance of observing small fish only found in certain Alabama streams.

The Creek Kids at Alabama State Parks field trips will be offered for free. However, reservations are necessary and park entry fees will apply. For more information or to schedule a Creek Kids field trip, contact the park naturalists at Desoto and Oak Mountain state parks.

Contact info: Desoto State Park Brittney Hughes, park naturalist Brittney.Hughes@dcnr.alabama.gov 256-997-5025 Oak Mountain Emily Cook, park naturalist OakMountain.Naturalist@dcnr.alabama.gov 205-620-2520

Creek Kids began in 2009 as a partnership between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Since the first Creek Kids field trip in 2009, the program has earned national recognition, including praise from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for its quality, hands-on educational experience.

Creek Kids is also still available at Tannehill. For more information, call 205-477-6301, or email Brenda Morrison at Brenda.Morrison@dcnr.alabama.gov. To view a video overview of Creek Kids at Tannehill, visit http://youtu.be/UpO9BNnKknM. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com. The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. To learn more about Alabama State Parks, visit www.alapark.com.

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