First row: Savannah Bowen (Small Rivers Program, Clemson University); Caroline Chapman (Dennis Center Hatchery, Charleston Southern University); Kendall Williams (Fisheries Region 4, University of Florida); Lauren Faulk (Mussels Program, University of South Carolina); Cade Caldwell (Aquatic Education, Clemson University)
Second row: Matthew Sprouse (Fisheries Region 1, Clemson University); Chris James (Walhalla Hatchery, Tennessee Tech University); Gavin McAbee (Fisheries Region 2- Florence, Francis Marion University); Jonathan Fisk (Cheraw Hatchery, University of West Virginia); William Sims (Fisheries Region 2 – Rock Hill, Clemson University)
Not pictured: Tabitha Scruggs (Fisheries Region 3, University of South Carolina – Beaufort) and William Chandler Chapman (Cohen Campbell Hatchery, University of South Carolina – Beaufort)
Meet the 2019 S.C. Department of Natural Resources freshwater fisheries interns! Each of these college students has been assigned to different SCDNR fish hatcheries and regional offices across the state. These interns will play a vital role in the management of our state’s fishery resources. The training program is designed to give real-world experiences in the field. They’ll take part in electrofishing, gillnetting, fish propagation, fish stocking, creel surveys, fish passage assessment, habitat improvements, river and stream sampling, fish aging (otoliths), telemetry, hydroacoustics, water quality monitoring, outreach, boat and trailer maintenance.
When asked what sparked their interest in freshwater fisheries, here’s what they had to say:
Charleston Southern University
I’ve always loved playing outside and looking for bugs and lizards and birds. My dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I didn’t know. That’s when he told me that I could be a biologist and work with animals. That’s when I knew DNR was for me.
I grew up fishing with my dad and spending a lot of time outdoors. When I started at Clemson, I knew I liked fish, but my amazing professors helped me realize it was what I wanted to make a career choice out of.
Piedmont Technical College
I just graduated with my associates in science from Piedmont Technical College. I am interested in transferring to Clemson University in the fall. I’ve wanted to work for DNR for as long as I can remember. I wanted this internship to be able to meet people and see a lot of different aspects of DNR and what it offers.
University of South Carolina
I am an intern for the freshwater mussel program. Growing up in South Carolina, the coast has been a huge part of my life and now I want to help conserve the resource for future generations.
West Virginia University
What sparked my interest was Trout in the Classroom.
Tennessee Technical University
I got into fisheries conservation because I love all the small nongame fish and learning about their niche in the ecosystem. Plus, the opportunity to actively better public resources always felt like a worthy cause.
Francis Marion University
I grew interest in this by being raised this way. I feel like I am never truly working.
I’ve always been an avid angler, so I knew that I wanted to do something in the outdoors. Through courses at Clemson and talking with professors, I found that a profession in fisheries could be something that I would enjoy.
Growing up, me and my family always fished, and I always had a love for biology, so naturally I fell right in line for this kind of work.
University of Florida
I love the freshwater fisheries field because I think fish are a unique and overlooked species. It is also always fun to spend the day on a boat!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.