McDaniel to particpate in Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

Rachel McDaniel has
been chosen as one of
only 25 students to participate
in the 2013 Hutton
Junior Fisheries
Biology Program, an innovative
education program
sponsored by the
American Fisheries Society
(AFS).
McDaniel, a San Marcos
home school student
who has just completed
her junior year, is working
with her mentor,
Gordon Linam, at the
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department (TPWD)
River Studies Program
and will be awarded a
scholarship from AFS.
Though the River
Studies Program, based
in San Marcos, has
statewide responsibilities,
Rachel will mostly
be working on two projects
closer to home, both
on the San Antonio
River.
One of these projects
is examining the seasonal
fish, habitat, and
water quality in the middle
and lower San Antonio
River. Results from
this study will help inform
the state mandated
SB 2 instream flow study
which directed the
TPWD, Texas Water Development
Board and
Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality,
in collaboration with the
respective river authorities,
to identify the environmental
flow needs of
a number of priority river
basins in the state.
The other project occupying
a portion of Mc-
Daniels’ time is the
cooperative effort between
the San Antonio
River Authority, Texas
State University and
TPWD to re-establish
Guadalupe bass (the
state fish of Texas) into
the San Antonio River
Mission Reach. This
project is partially being
funded by the National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Habitat modification
and poor water quality
likely caused the extirpation
of this species from
the river, but recent
restoration efforts have
afforded the opportunity
to try to re-establish it.
Hybridization with introduced
small-mouth bass
has also wreaked havoc
on Guadalupe bass
within their native range.
The principal goal of
the Hutton Program is to
stimulate interest in careers
in fisheries science
and management among
groups underrepresented
in the fisheries professions,
including minorities
and women.
Application to the program
is open to all junior
and senior high school
students regardless of
race, creed, or gender.
Because the program
seeks to increase diversity
within the fisheries
professions, qualified
women and minority applicants
are strongly encouraged
to apply. Each
student chosen for the
program is awarded a
$3,000 scholarship and
is matched with a professional
mentor for a summer-
long, hands-on
experience in fisheries
science.
As evidenced by the
final reports of students
and mentors who have
participated in the Hutton
Program, the students
benefit
substantially from their
summer mentoring experience.
For most students, the
Hutton Program is their
first exposure to a professional
work setting
where they learn what
qualities are necessary to
be successful in that environment
and the importance
of being able to
function well as part of a
team.
The students gain an
awareness of conservation
issues and the importance
of healthy
aquatic systems; participate
in projects that benefit
habitat restoration,
protection, and management;
and gain an understanding
of what is
involved in being a fisheries
biologist and of the
career opportunities
available in the field.
In Hutton's 12th year,
AFS received 68 student
applications from across
the country, Mexico and
Canada, and selected 25
applicants to receive
scholarships and mentorships.
Of the exceptional
students chosen
for the Hutton this summer,
nearly half are minorities,
and nearly
two-thirds are females.
This summer, Hutton
Scholars will be working
with their mentors in
Canada, Mexico and 13
states, including California,
Idaho, Indiana,
Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Mississippi,
North Carolina, Oregon,
Texas, Virginia, Washington,
and Wisconsin.
For information on the
American Fisheries Society
and the Hutton Junior
Fisheries Biology
Program, visit the AFS
website at www.fisheries.
org, or contact:
Kathryn Winkler, Hutton
Program/Continuing Education
Coordinator,
American Fisheries Society
at (301) 897-8616,
Ext. 213 or e-mail hutton@
fisheries.org.