Swimming Upstream: A Fish Migration Game
Hello everyone, welcome back! As most of you know, this past weekend was Earth Day. Here at the refuge we had our Earth Day festivities on Saturday in collaboration with the Living Coast Discovery Center. Saturday also happened to be World Fish Migration Day (WFMD), which is the fish version of our beloved World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD).
We wanted to incorporate an interactive game for the event that was able to showcase the difficulties that fish face when they migrate, and my task was to create the game.
Lisa Cox, the refuge’s Public Information Officer, sent me some ideas and graphics to work with, which were really helpful in setting me off in the right direction. From there I had to create the game so that it would utilize the entirety of the trail, be evenly spaced, and have no loops where people could get stuck in the game. Ultimately, I created a fish migration game where you had to “swim” upstream while completing tasks from each respective station and learning about all the hardships that fish face on their journey.
In the process of doing some research for the creation of this game, I learned some new fish vocabulary words that I thought I would share with you all:
Anadromous: fish that are born in freshwater, then migrate to the ocean as juveniles where they grow into adults before migrating back into freshwater to spawn, i.e. salmon;
Catadromous: fish that are born in saltwater, then migrate into freshwater as juveniles where they grow into adults before migrating back into the ocean to spawn, i.e eel.
Have fun dropping those new vocabulary words into everyday conversations with friends and family.
The day finally arrived, and I helped Lisa and Larisa set up for the day’s festivities and got ready for my game to be played by the public. I saw dads spinning their kids in strollers, moms with babies in carriers “swimming,” and kids wearing their “satellite trackers.” Two ladies, who were educators, played the game without kids and said it was fun, so I’m glad people of all age groups were able to play and enjoy it.
Snowy Plover Update! Our first Snowy Plover chick is scheduled to hatch sometime this week, so we’re going to check out the nest. This next thing isn’t a Snowy Plover update, but something we encountered on a Snowy Plover survey. I don’t know my snakes all that well, but my guess is that this little guy or girl is a Western Rattlesnake.
Update: I just checked my iNaturalist post and the consensus is that it is a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri).
See everyone next week!