Clinton Community Nature Center Press Release For Week of 29 April 2002

Fishy Activities at Clinton Community Nature Center

Would you like to know more about the fishes that inhabit our local waters? Do you want to know what ichthyologists do? Would you like to be better at catching, identifying, and keeping fish? If so, visit the Clinton Community Nature Center from 9:00-noon on 04 May 2002 to experience "Fabulous Fishes," a hands-on, action-packed workshop about our finny friends.

"Fabulous Fishes" is part of the monthly series at the Nature Center that provides visitors of all ages with opportunities to work with and learn from local naturalists. This month, visitors will be entertained and educated by biologists and hobbyists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station and from the North American Native Fishes Association. Activities will include training in fish identification, anatomy, age determination, diet and reproductive study, fishing games, gyotaku (the Japanese art of fish print making), fish bone identification, and an easy-to-repeat experiment on the breathing rates of fishes. Exhibits will include unusual fish specimens, sampling gear, home aquarium setups, and fishing equipment. Educational materials will be available to teachers and parents, and fish-related door prizes will be presented during ticket drawings.

D. Martin Moore, Mississippi Chapter Regional Representative for the North American Native Fishes Association reports that public outreach is a priority for the organization. "We are very excited about introducing people to our continent's non-game fishes. NANFA spends a lot of time and money working with individuals, communities, schools, museums, and nature centers, all with the hope of opening the public's eyes to our amazing natural heritage - and how close we are to losing it."

Workshop will feature information on the many freshwater and marine fishes that inhabit the state, but special emphasis will be on the ancient "living fossils" that inhabit the Mississippi Basin - paddlefish, sturgeon, gars, bowfin. Special guest will be Neil H. Douglas, professor emeritus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and author of the book "Freshwater Fishes of Louisiana."

The Clinton Community Nature Center is located at 617 Dunton Road, Clinton, MS. For more information call 601-926-1104.