My name’s Kevin Hamilton.
I’m the management indicator species fish crew leader.
our job is to montior population trends of bull trout throughout the National Forest.
We use means of electro fishing, formal sites, setting up block nets,
and we do what’s called a depletion. So we shock the site until we get less than
ten percent of the original capture. And what that does is gives us a better estimate
of the actual population. It allows the biologists to make the proper
asessment of population. Well, with Bull trout particularly, the reason
they are a managment indicator species is because they are sensitive to environmental
change. They prefer pristine habitat, cool clean water.
So what it does is it allows the forest to see if their managment practices as a whole
are proficient and working up to spead. I like my job.
It allows me to kind of contribute back to the resource that I take so much from.
I’m a fisherman and I use these rivers and wildlands almost on a daily basis even outside
of work. So to be able to contribute to the conservation
of it, is one of the big reasons I do it. I would have to say part of it is just in
my blood, I was kind of born and raised in the outdoors.
I love fishing. It’s just something that brings pleasure to
me. I got interested in the Forest Service through
the military because of the ability to transfer over my time and grade.
It allows me to take those years that I served in the military and transfer them over to
the Forest Service towards retirement. Switching my job and my duties but maintaining
that Federal service. The fish, like I said are an indicator of
the environments health. Particularly the stream itself with Bull Trout.
They are super sensitive to temperature change. If there’s polutants, Bull Trout amongst amphibians,
they will be the first to detect it. And you can note that by the strata classification
of the stream. So if you have a strata one that historically
had fish in it and is suitable habitat and all of a sudden it’s now a strata two,
has no fish but it’s still suitable as far as habitat goes,
it makes you wonder exactly what’s going on. And then it’s not so much just the population
of fish, but the healthy population of fish allows
us to see that the stream and the ecosystem around the stream is healthy.
I like working for the Forest Service because of the office space.
There’s no better way to get out and enjoy your job than to be in the mountains.
working for the Forest Service means contributing back to the resources that I take from and
giving a little piece back to not just nature but to the people that use it.