Larger than life

Painting Catfish

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”

As Baba Dioum so aptly summarized in front of the International Union for Conservation of Nature general assembly nearly 50 years ago, FISHBIO believes in fostering understanding and conservation of nature from an early age. Putting this conviction into practice, we have been making educational visits to elementary schools in the Oakdale and Chico areas, as well as in Vientiane, Laos, for the past few years as part of our Three Rivers Education Program. Working with a range of grade levels through an interactive curriculum, we have truly enjoyed sharing our knowledge about rivers and the species they support. During our most recent school visits, we made classroom presentations that covered aspects of the hydrologic cycle, river systems, migratory fishes, and the challenges they face – in California and worldwide. But even the most entertaining presentation is no match for fishy hands-on crafts. To that end, we’ve been working with students at Chico’s Chapman Elementary School to craft and decorate a just slightly larger-than-life Mekong giant catfish!

The goal for this goliath is for students to proudly carry and display it during the “Procession of the Species,” one of the highlights of Chico’s upcoming Endangered Species Faire tomorrow (May 2nd). This annual, free event for the whole family is organized by the Butte Environmental Council. We look forward to a wonderful day of educational activities, and are particularly excited to kick off the morning of the Faire with our Second Annual Salmon Run. This fun-run for all ages is intended to foster conservation through raising awareness about the uniqueness of Big Chico Creek and its special fishes. We hope to see you there!