The Murray Plant Science, Natural Resource and Animal Science classes and the Clarke Environmental Science class attended a field trip on Wednesday, September 12th, at East Lake. The field trip was hosted by the Clarke County Conservation Board.
Andy Jansen, Fisheries Management Biologist began the presentations by discussing his line of work and the opportunities offered in the area. Jansen works out of Mt. Ayr, but serves an eight-county region in Southwest Iowa. Jansen demonstrated how four different types of nets can be used to catch fish, in order to help with fish population counts and health checks. Jansen discussed the importance of soil conservation to prevent silt accumulation in ponds and lakes, which in turn harm fish and prevent them from reaching a stable population. Jansen and Scott Kent, Clarke County Conservation Director, then demonstrated the use of the boat that helps them stun fish. Stunning does no harm to the fish, but is used as another method to determine population and size counts of specific fish species, as well as check the general health of the fish.
Kent then led a discussion with the students of the many internship and career opportunities in Natural Resources. He talked about the importance of his job, as well as the publics’ in protecting and conserving the wildlife and natural resources we have.
The students walked to the north end of East Lake to observe the new sediment pond put in place. Dennis Schrodt, District Conservationist for Clarke County, and Kent discussed the importance of the structure, construction and implementation of the sediment pond. To end the trip, the Murray students went to the Clarke County Fairgrounds where Schrodt demonstrated the rainfall simulator. This showed the students the importance of how covered soil prevents erosion, and how changes in the cover affect the amount of water runoff and percolation.