The Oregon Deparment of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) is presenting an educational and fun conference on March 26 and 27 aimed at bringing STEP volunteers and educators together in a way that allows them to share their stories and ideas.
The conference’s theme is “Teach today. Fish tomorrow.”, a slogan that STEP organizers say represents the camaraderie and information-sharing that is at the heart of the program. The conference will allow STEP participants and informal educators to share tips on organizing programs, procuring funds, and even what type of fishing equipmentto use.
STEP coordinator Kevin Herkamp said that volunteers are crucial to keeping the STEP program afloat, with many donating money, fishing equipment, and countless hours of volunteer work. STEP volunteer activities include restoration projects, biological and geographical surveys, and programs aimed at educating the public on trout and salmon issues.
“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.
According to an ODFW press release, the conference will take place at the Twin Rocks Friends Camp in Rockaway Beach, Ore. On Saturday, March 26, participants will be able to attend sessions covering a wide range of topics, including partnering with local teachers, connecting with local communities, managing volunteers, and how the STEP program fits in with the state’s ever changing environmental and political landscape.
On Sunday, March 27, participants can choose to attend one of two field trips – either a half-day a kayak tour of Nehalem Bay or a boat trip aiming at capturing wild winter steelhead for the local broodstock program. Both field trips cost an additional $20.
Registration for the conference is due by March 6, and pre-registration is required. The cost of the conference is $45. For more information, visit the ODFW conference website.