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Zoology class takes trips with Kansas Department of Wildlife

06 May 2016

The PCC Zoology class recently participated in two field trips that were supported by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT).  On Mar. 23 students toured the fish hatchery at the KDWPT headquarters.  Brett Houdyshell, a KDWPT fisheries biologist led the class on a tour of the hatchery, and students were able to observe Walleye eggs in various stages of development.  The eggs were recently collected and the resulting fry will be stocked into Kansas lakes and reservoirs to help supplement the Walleye population in those impoundments.  Brett also provided students with information about the daily and seasonal operations of the facility. 
“PCC Zoology would like to thank KDWPT and Brett Houdyshell for providing our class with this unique opportunity,” said PCC instructor Dave Chambers.

On Apr. 26 the PCC Zoology class joined a group of KDWPT biologist to participate in a field trip that included a survey of the fish and macroinvertebrate communities in the South Fork Ninnescah located just north of Pratt County Lake.  The students collected fish using an electro-fishing technique.  More than 15 species of fish were identified and released.  Many of the fish collected were predatory sport fish that have moved into the river from Pratt County Lake or were washed into the river from other sources.  Although these fish provide recreational fishing activities for local anglers, they have a negative impact on the native fish species in the Ninnescah as they feed on, and compete for resources, with species that are indigenous to the river.  The students also collected macro-invertebrates (primarily aquatic insects) using dip nets.  The biologist from KDWPT helped the students identify the invertebrates in the field.  Ryan Waters and other members of the Environmental Services Department of KDWPT have been providing support for this activity for PCC students for more than 10 years. 
PCC is currently enrolling for Summer and Fall 2016. Visit prattcc.edu to view the list of classes like Zoology that PCC has to offer.