Fish identification workshop benefits teachers, students and public agenices
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Fish identification workshop benefits teachers, students and public agenices

There were small fish and large fish. And there were freshwater and saltwater fish. But it was up to the attendees at a fish identification
workshop to determine what was what. Being able to correctly identify fish in Louisiana
is a challenge. We’ve got a huge amount of diversity in
our freshwater fishes here in Louisiana. And then if you take the estuaries and our
saltwater areas, we’ve got a ton of really cool diversity. Fish from the same family can be difficult
to distinguish. But if you know what to look for, it can be
done accurately. We’re looking at fin position, fin shape,
size, mouth position, lateral lines, scale size. Most fish will have three to five traits you
can look at to tell them apart from other similar fish. Many of the participants work in public agencies
charged with making conservation management decisions as part of their job. Others were instructors involved with teaching
courses in fish ID. As much as I love teaching other people about
what makes these fish these fish, it’s also really useful for me as an instructor just
to have a refresher every year. Identifying fish was a focal point of the
event, but studying fisheries involves much more. You can study fish, sure, but it’s also
their surrounding environments. There’s water chemistry. There’s sedimentation and pollution. There’s so many areas that encompass fisheries
studies. The workshop was conducted by members of the
Louisiana chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and it allowed networking of agencies
charged with caretaking Louisiana waterbodies. With the LSU AgCenter, this is Craig Gautreaux

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