Transportation will be provided for all duties performed outside of the Marine Headquarters.
These EP SRAs will generally work outside, in the field, across the State of Connecticut helping to restore and conserve highly migratory species of fish that live in both fresh and salt water (diadromous fish species). All of these diadromous fish species migrate into fresh water from the ocean during the spring; therefore, it is critical that the preferred candidate is available to begin working early to mid-March.
During this period, the SRAs will be trained by professional diadromous fish biologists and will often work side-by-side as a team with biologists and other SRAs. Once trained, SRAs may also work independently by themselves. A major objective of the Diadromous Fisheries Program is to monitor selected sites across the state for diadromous fish species. Typically, these sites are at one of many “fishways” distributed around the state; fishways are structures that enable migratory fish species to swim above a dam to get to essential habitat located upstream of the dam. Some of these fishways are equipped with monitoring equipment that allows for the counting of fish passing through the fishway. SRAs will be trained to record and download data at these sites, as well as troubleshoot monitoring equipment. SRAs will also inspect fishways and clear them of debris as necessary to ensure adequate water flows down the fishway.
In addition, SRAs will also assist in transplantation of diadromous fish. Fish are trapped at “donor” streams with strong populations, loaded into transport trucks, and taken to other streams where they are released. The fish transplanted to “recipient” streams will reproduce and help restore the population of diadromous fish in that stream. To effectively participate in this important program activity, SRAs must be able to run short distances with a net full of fish weighing up to 50 pounds.
SRAs will be trained in various methods to collect diadromous fish. Collection methods could include trapping, netting (gill, seine, or hoop nets), and electrofishing. All of these collection methods require an SRA to have the ability to wade in chest-deep, flowing water over rocky, uneven stream bottoms. SRAs will also be trained in species identification of collected fish, and collection of biological samples such as scale samples that can be used to determine the age of fish.
SRAs will also be trained to perform data entry, basic data analysis, and general facility maintenance. Examples of data entry and analysis activities include reviewing videos recorded at fishway monitoring sites to count number of fish passing through the facility and entering data into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Facility maintenance can include general landscaping, fishway repair and maintenance, cutting grass, trimming trees and brush, cleaning, painting, and light carpentry.
Working as an SRA within the Diadromous Fisheries Program provides a great opportunity for individuals interested in learning more about fish populations and aquatic ecosystems in Connecticut. SRAs will get the opportunity to work outdoors on a variety of projects and gain basic scientific training in a fun, teamwork-oriented environment.