September 2013:  Issue 1



Dear Friend:

Welcome to the first ever quarterly online Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program WSFR Newsletter!   We are thrilled you are here to learn more about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's  WSFR program  and its efforts to support partnerships in wildlife conservation and sport fish restoration. 


Our newsletter aims to support state and industry success stories, science based research, regional highlights, honors, events and so much more!  A warm thank you to all of the contributors of this newsletter.  Your submissions are greatly appreciated.  


You can also be apart of the WSFR Newsletter too!  We welcome story ideas and links to your success stories. For consideration, feel free to submit your story suggestions to   Finally,  if needed, be sure to click on the "Display Images" tab above to view accompanying article photos.  We appreciate you and your support!
Happy reading!
Kim Betton
Editorial Director  
WSFR Newsletter

A State Archery Program in Virginia Schools Draws an 
Enthusiastic Response 
Story By: Tee Clarkson, Photos by: Lee Walker
Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries  
Virginia Wildlife   
Student participates in the Natl. Archery in the Schools Program statewide competition  Photo by: Lee Walker, VDGIF
 The whistle blows for the first round of practice just as I come through the door.  In an instant  the building fills with a series of intermittent thumps, followed by silence.  "You may now collect your arrows," proclaims a voice over the loud speaker.  Seventy-eight kids from across the state, spread out in a line perhaps 60 yards long, hang their bows on the rests and proceeded toward the targets to check their scores.  This marks the beginning of the National Archery in the Schools Program statewide competition.
Through the methods and tools were crude by comparison, archery (and he teaching of it) is as old a skill and practice as drawing on cave walls and fashioning tools from rocks.  Today, rigid curriculums and standardized tests, 21st-century skills needs, improvement plans, and implementation of technology in the classroom make it hard to incorporate anything new into school studies where the benefit cannot necessarily be measured by data on a spreadsheet. Fortunately, though, through the hard work of many, students are benefitting from alternate in-school activities like this archery program referred to as NASP.
Deshka River Salmon Weir in AK
By: Mary Price, USFWS, WSFR Program, Alaska Region  

The Chinook salmon (also called "king" salmon) is the largest of all Pacific salmon, typically measuring about 36 inches in length, and often more than 30 pounds.The Chinook salmon is highly prized by anglers and is extensively fished in both marine and fresh water. 


Most Alaska sport caught Chinook salmon are from the Cook Inlet basin, and the Deshka River, a tributary of the Susitna River, in the Northern Cook Inlet Management Area (NCIMA).

The Deshka Weir and camp. Photo by: Daryl Lescanec (ADF&G)

In response to the decline in Chinook salmon escapement, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game needed to collect information for fishery managers to assess the salmon run strength in-season and set appropriate fishery regulations. The Department constructed, installed and operated a resistance-board (or "floating" weir) on the Deshka River starting in 1995, and has been operated each summer since then. This type of weir is designed to operate in a wide range of river flows and is the most robust type of weir to withstand high water flows and impacts from flood debris like floating trees. A two person crew operates the weir 18 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week from late May through mid-July.   


Weir crew Anthony and Christine take a scale sample form a Chinook salmon. Photo by: Suzanne Hayes (ADF&G).

Getting to the weir is a bit of an adventure in itself, which I got to experience one fine day in July. Using an open skiff with an outboard jet motor, four of us traveled down several miles of the shallow, braided, mud-colored Susitna River and then seven miles up the clear, tea-colored, shallow-riffled Deshka River. We were at the weir near the end of the run when the small numbers of salmon demonstrated a preference to swimming up river at night, so we didn't see any of the 63 Chinook -  that were counted that day -  go through during our mid-day visit. But there had been a few days in June where over 1,000 Chinook swam upstream, and one day with a count of over 3,000.

Chinook salmon populations are again low in recent years, and having an accurate count from the weir is especially important. This year there was some good news. Though the salmon run was a bit slow to start, the big fish did arrive, and this year the Deshka met its escapement goal for Chinook salmon.


The Deshka River has historically provided the largest Chinook salmon harvest within the NCIMA, except during the mid-1990s when the fishery was closed due to low escapements. Escapement is the term used for the number of fish that "escape" the fishery and get upstream to spawn.


This work was funded by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and fishing license sales. Excise taxes paid by, anglers, boaters, hunters and shooters provide over $40 million to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for management and research of Alaska's fish and wildlife. 


Read more about Alaska Department Fish and Game



Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Louisiana Project Highlights 
By: Bridgette Zachary, CIAP State Liason (Louisiana)  
The Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) administered by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) provides federal grant funds derived from federal offshore lease revenues to 73 eligible grant recipients in six states; Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 
CIAP projects are making a significant difference in conservation, educational awareness, and wildlife restoration all across these regions. In Louisiana,  the Service has awarded over  $244 million in grants to create, preserve, and restore wetlands; increase shoreline and hurricane protection; test new eco-technologies; and establish ecology focused educational programs.


The following are Louisiana project highlights:


The Orleans Land Bridge project is a cooperative effort between the state and four parishes to stabilize the shoreline of Lake Borne by creating marine mattresses filled with concrete recycled from the interstate 10 bridge destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. These marine mattresses will not only decrease the erosion of the surrounding marshes but will also decrease the damage caused by large storm events. 

The Orleans Land Bridge Shoreline project


The Lower Lafitte Project will reinforce shoreline in Jefferson Parish and would have significantly reduced damage incurred during Hurricane Isaac, provided the community with a stronger sense of safety, and saved federal dollars in response and recovery efforts.


There are multiple

 projects testing new eco-technologies throughout the state. The two main grants awarded by the Service to do this are Central Wetlands Assimilation and Living Shoreline.


The Central Wetlands Assimilation project will benefit 2,300 acres of former cypress marsh that has been devastated by saltwater intrusion. The project is designed to use ferrate treated bio-solids and waste water to restore the area which has been divided into different cells, each of which will have varying processes in an effort to determine the most effective land accumulation and replanting process. The cooperative agreement between the parties involved in the project design, construction and implementation was a landmark agreement.


The Living Shoreline grant will test four different oyster reef technologies along twenty-one miles of shoreline. The designs will be evaluated to determine which creates the most sustainable oyster reef, which most decreases erosion rates, and which provides for the most land and reef accumulation.


The main grant awarded to the state aimed at education is the Mississippi River Delta Management Strategic Planning project which will construct a Small Scale Physical Model (SSPM) of the Mississippi River and Delta which will be able to model smaller flows. The SSPM is a valuable research tool to further the understanding of the impacts of major diversions of water and sediments into the vanishing coastal wetlands in the lower Mississippi River Delta.


A locally significant educational project is the Bayou Amy Educational Trail and Pavilion which will be built as an educational area for the "Gateway to the Atchafalaya."   This is designed as an outreach to educate tourists, students, locals, fisherman, and boaters on the unique and highly productive area of the Atchafalaya Basin.


The CIAP program is an amazing cooperative effort between federal, state and local governments to restore and preserve the nation's precious ecological resources and balance or negate the effects on those resources caused by the nation's increasingly vital need for oil and gas production, exploration and infrastructure in these areas.


Read more about CIAP projects in Louisiana
Women and Hunting
Gearing up for the 2013 Hunting Season 
By: Anna Harris, USFWS, HQ


My interest in hunting did not come at an early age, nor did it come from my father, grandparent or any other relative for that matter.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service got me interested. Working for the Service does not require me to be outdoors, actually I spent the majority of my time behind a computer, analyzing data and writing briefing papers. But it's what I write, research and talk about that got me intrigued. 

Anna Harris, USFWS
Anna Harris


Back in 2006, turkey hunting was one of the only forms of increased hunting in the U.S. and I was asked to analyze this alarming trend. To help find answers I moved beyond the data, reaching out to State biologists and Service friends who hunted. 
After hours on the phone, talking about the successful rehabilitation efforts by organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Service and the States to bring back the Meleagris gallopavo
from near extension, I began to understand the importance and tradition of hunting in America.


These collaborative partnerships brought an animal back from near extension, and their comeback is arguably the greatest conservation success story in history. 


Inevitably, these conversations would lead to stories of shooting turkeys or taking newcomers into the field. When I finished my writing, I decided learning to hunt sounded like something I should try.  There's a lot of pre-work for someone who has zero experience, so I signed up for a Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow, a course offered to new or non-hunters by the Max McGraw Foundation and Wildlife Management Institute at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). 


I also needed to line up a mentor; someone experienced in the field and willing to spend the time it takes to train a new hunter.  That person for me was Richard Aiken, a lead economist with the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Richard taught me almost everything I know about hunting and I've found success in every season. I haven't shot a turkey yet, but I've been out there in the elements, enjoying the view from a tree stand before dawn and finding peace in the quite wild.


More Hunting Highlights


Hunting Tips

Vermont Recognizes the Late Vaughn Douglass and his Work to Improve Recreational Boating Opportunities
By: Terri Edwards, USFWS, Region 5, Hadley, Mass.

The State of Vermont recently paid tribute to the late Vaughn Douglass by dedicating a boat access site along the shore of Lake Elmore in his memory.  Vaughn retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) more than a year ago and died a few short months later after a long illness. 


During Vaughn's 33-year career with the Service, he led the portion of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program that serves to improve recreational boating access throughout the Northeast Region. The program funds projects to open lakes, rivers and other waters to recreational boating and fishing. 

Vaughn Douglass
The late Vaughn Douglass honored by State of Vermont


Since 1950, the grants have helped build and maintain thousands of fishing and boating access sites across the U.S., investing revenue collected as excise taxes and import fees on boats, fuel and sport fishing equipment into recreational

boating improvements.


It was in Elmore, a small town of 800 nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where Douglass found his refuge and shared his love of the outdoors with his family.  Some of his happiest memories  were spent swimming, boating, fishing and water skiing on Lake Elmore with his children and grandchildren.


Vermont's tribute is the result of Vaughn's heartfelt contributions and strong connection to Lake Elmore.



Port of Dubuque Marina Receives Largest Boating Infrastructure Grant in Town History
By: Joanna Gilkeson, USFWS, WSFR Program, Region 3, Bloomington, MN

It was a packed crowd at a June ribbon cutting in the city of Dubuque, IA for the unveiling of the freshly completed Port of Dubuque Marina Project!  


The marina features 70 transient slips for boats of greater than 26 ft. along the shores of the Mississippi River. It is well stocked with amenities for recreational boaters including water and electrical connections, a fuel dock, sanitary pump-out facilities, and two shore entry/exit locations with ADA-compliant access. In addition, there are dockside shower suites, restrooms, a laundry facility, and a ship store.  The marina project is supported by the Boating and Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program of the U.S. Fish and Wild
Port of Dubuque Marina 
life Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program;  as well as the city of Dubuque.


Dubuque received a BIG grant of $3,037,802 for the project making
it the largest grant ever awarded
to a public or private entity under the BIG program. The project totaled $4.1 million with the city of Dubuque committing $1,088,950 of local funds to the project.  Marina managers say it's a win-win for both conservation and the local economy.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was also hosted by the National Mississippi River and Aquarium to celebrate the opening of the Museum's Mississippi Plaza in conjunction with the grand-opening of the marina.  The Port of Dubuque Marina is the gateway to  America's River Projet in Dubuque, which aims to create one of the finest tourism attractions along the Mississippi River. The BIG program also bolsters tourism and recreation potential in the area.  


WSFR Student Report:
Inner City Kids Team up with WSFR Employees during National Fishing and Boating Week 
By: LaQuinte Hill and Paul Franklin, WSFR Interns
Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy

The National Fishing & Boating week kicked off  in in June. More than 200 4th-7th grade inner-city students participated in the fun outdoor festivities, such as fishing and taking a boat ride across the Anacostia River. Also the youth learned the true importance of wildlife and conservation.  The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) joined the great staff support. Volunteers demonstrated and taught the young students

Student D'Angelo (center) takes a look at a fish he caught for the first time! Photo by:  LaQuinte Hill, WSFR Intern

how to fish and what it really means to preserve beautiful nature and the value of getting outdoors!  

 We met up with WSFR staff members Peter Barlow, Andy Mueller,  and John Stremple. They were also teaching students about the basics of fishing,  One kid in particular showed a lot of attention by being the first to catch a fish (catfish); and it was his first time ever doing so!  His name is D'Angelo.

WSFR's Andy Mueller teaches student how to fish
WSFR's Andy Mueller teaches student how to fish.
Photo by: Paul Franklin,  WSFR Intern

 He told us that it felt  "really good!"   DeAngelo was a great sport and had a lot of fun with catching his first fish ever big catch!   As Peter Barlow was helping kids fish  he was helping everyone  to understand more about the WSFR program and what they do in this program.

Stremple played a big role in helping the students. 

Peter Bartlow and students go fishing
WSFR's Peter Bartlow and students go fishing during NFBW. Photo by: Paul Franklin, WSFR Intern

"We want to help kids to realize the importance of  getting outdoors; and the connection between us,   nature and the environment," said Stremple.


LaQuinte Hill and Paul Franklin are students at Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy in  Washington, DC. They were WSFR Communications summer interns through the school's fellowship program. 


Featured Photo

Submit Your Photo!
If you'd like to submit an original photo to be featured in our newsletter email  it to  Be sure to include your name,photo caption and credit.  Your picture must reflect  wildlife conservation and restoration;  and/or  partnership success.  

Man and his dog go out for a duck hunt in Alaska 
Photo by:  Ryan Hagerty
News Briefs
Christy Vigfusson, 
Lisa Van Alstyne & 
Tom Barnes
Winners of the
ClearMark  Award
WSFR HQ Team Winner of 2013 ClearMark  Award

The Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG)
Proposed Rule, published by the Service's Wildlife
and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR), has

won the Legal Category ClearMark Award. The

honor, presented by the Center for Plain Language,
celebrates the best in clear communication and

plain language from government, non-profits and

private companies. WSFR team members 

recognized for writing this rule are Tom Barnes,

Branch of Policy Chief;  Christy Vigfusson,

National BIG Program Lead; and Lisa E. Van Alstyne, Fish & Wildlife Administrator.    

Doug Gentile
Recipient of the
Meritorious Service Award

WSFR's Doug Gentile Receives 
Meritorious Service Award
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has honored 
retired civil rights coordinator Doug Gentile with the 
Meritorious Service Award for nearly thirty years of
public service. Gentile worked for the Wildlife
and Sport Fish Restoration program.  He dedicated
his entire federal career enforcing civil rights laws
and ensuring that Americans are treated equally
with regard to public access to government programs
and activities.

Kim Betton with
SEED students

WSFR's Kim Betton Guest Speaker at SEED

Student Weekend Workshop in Baltimore  

It was a Saturday (July 20) filled with motivation

aimed at educational and career success for the

students of the SEED Public Charter School Alumni

Summer Institute.   Kim Betton, communications 

manager, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration

program, spoke to the college students in a

motivational workshop called "Branding Yourself."  

Kim informed the students about the key concepts

of branding, the importance of setting goals and

achieving them; as well as maintaining excellent 

grades, and acting civil, both personally and

professionally.  The SEED Foundation partners with

urban communities to provide educational

opportunities that prepare students for career



Patient girl goes ice fishing

Girl enjoys ice

fishing in Alaska


Let's Go Ice Fishing!
The Military Youth Ice Fishing Jamboree got 
underway at Hillberg Lake in Anchorage, Alaska
earlier this year.  Some 159 Cub Scout Troops and
their family members turned out for the festive day of
learning and fun.  Members of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service's (Service) Region 7 office and the
Armed Forces from the Joint Base Elmendorf
Richardson volunteered to help the youth fetch for
30 landlocked Chinook salmon
and rainbow trout were caught by the Scouts and
their siblings.  An underwater video camera added
to all the excitement!  The screen revealed lots of fish
just below the 2.5 feet of ice.  The Service's $4,900
grant to Connect People with Nature was a huge
success, with 85 percent of the youth
indicating they would fish again this year. 
Service members from Region 7 provided
ice fishing rods to all cub scouts and their
siblings to  encourage additional ice fishing
after the event. 
To keep their new fishing rod, the only request was
that the youth would bug their parents to go
fishing again!  Based on a follow-up survey,
56 percent of the scouts reported that they went
ice fishing again and 44 percent went fishing at
least two more times. 94 percent of the scouts
planned on fishing again in the future! 






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In This Issue
Quick Links
WSFR Assistant Director's Corner
Hannibal Bolton, AD, WSFR, USFWS


Hannibal Bolton, Asst. Dir. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program -  75 years and counting!
We are so glad that you have stopped by to read our first newsletter from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR).  If it were not for you, this program would not be where it is today. Just last year we celebrated 75 years of partnership and conservation success!  Since its 1937 inception, WSFR has provided more than $14 billion to support fish and wildlife restoration and management. The program and its partners, including the sporting arms industry, sport fishing industry,  conservation groups, sports men and women, joined together for this anniversary to renew their commitment to conserve fish and wildlife and to enhance hunter, angler, and boater recreation.   The funds, administered by the Service, are combined with hunting and fishing license revenue in each state to support important state wildlife conservation and hunting programs around the United States and the District of Columbia.  The legacy continues thanks to you!  And this newsletter aims to share  your success stories in an effort to inform and inspire!   Thanks again for your heartfelt support.
WSFR 75th Anniversary and Beyond Publication Highlights
2011 National Survey of Fishing Hunting and Wildlife Associated-Recreation
Click here to view Wildlife TRACS.
Featured News Release
"Service Awards more than $14 Million in Clean Vessel Act Grants: Funding Supports Clean Waters and Recreational Boating"

Read More

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Training Conference
September 11-12, 2013
Albuquerque, NM

States Organization for Boating Access Annual Conference

September 30 - October 3, 2013

Portland, Oregon

Visit Website

Southwest Regional Federal Aid Coordinators Meeting
October 1-3, 2013
Phoenix, AZ


Story Idea?
If you have a story idea or article you'd like to contribute to the WSFR Newsletter that is great!  Please contact the edtior at  
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