Oregon Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program to Host Salmon – Trout Education Conference

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“Teach today. Fish tomorrow.” is the theme for a March conference that will bring together volunteers and educators who teach about fish and help protect habitat.

Sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) the conference will be held March 26 and 27 in Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

According to Kevin Herkamp, ODFW STEP coordinator, STEP volunteers donate money, materials and thousands of hours of labor each year to stream restoration projects, surveys and educational activities that benefit trout and salmon.

The conference is a forum for volunteers and others who want to increase awareness about salmon, trout and their habitat to share experiences and ideas.

The conference also is a chance for teachers and informal educators to see what educational resources and partnerships are available through the STEP program and the organizations it works with.

“The conference is a great opportunity for individuals from around the state to see what others are doing and get some ideas for developing successful programs” Herkamp said.

The conference begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 26 at the Twin Rocks Friends Camp in Rockaway Beach, Ore. Participants will be able to select from sessions on a variety of topics such as partnering with local teachers, connecting STEP to local communities, managing volunteers and the impact of changing social, political and environmental climates on STEP programs.

On Sunday, March 27 attendees may choose between two optional field trips – a half-day drift boat trip on a nearby river to capture wild winter steelhead for the local broodstock program, or a half-day kayak tour of the Nehalem Bay. There is an additional $20 fee for the field trips.

Registration for the conference is $45 and must be received by March 6, 2011. Pre-registration is required for both the conference and the Sunday field trips.

To register or learn more about the conference and nearby lodging, go to: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/STEP/step-conference.asp

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife