Veterans Corps Fishery Program

photo fish and corpsmember

Veterans in the Fisheries Program get hands on experience under the supervision of fish scientists.

The Veterans Corps Fishery Program is a partnership between the California Conservation Corps, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, the U.S. Forest Service, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that gives post-9/11 veterans new opportunities to build their skills and work experience by restoring habitats for endangered salmon and steelhead, and conducting fisheries research and monitoring.

The program contributes directly to salmon and steelhead recovery in ways that NOAA Fisheries could not otherwise afford given current funding and staff levels.

The Veterans Corps program effectively combines two important national priorities:

  1. Supporting and promoting new job opportunities for veterans
  2. Protecting and restoring endangered species

Veterans in the program develop lasting skills and expertise in natural resources management through training and on-the-ground experience with fisheries biologists and other experts positioning them to compete successfully for permanent employment in environmental and natural resource fields. Some skills developed include:

  • Riparian restoration
  • Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) camera techniques
  • Adult & juvenile fish identification
  • Downstream migrant trapping
  • Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging
  • White water safety
  • Snorkeling techniques
  • Instream flow monitoring
  • Habitat survey training

Veterans participating in this program have gained employment within:

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • U.S. Army
  • South Dakota Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Information Technology industry