Interns help to rescue 40,000 steelhead

CSU Monterey Bay students help the local community in a variety of ways, as interns and service learners.

Recently, undergrads and graduate students from the Division of Science and Environmental Policy helped in an unusual way – with the annual steelhead rescue on the Carmel River.

The fish rescue teamThe Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s steelhead rescue teams worked through the spring and summer to save over 40,000 fish from drying sections of the river and move them to a facility where they could grow until river flows reach adequate levels for their release in the winter.

Helping with the rescue were CSUMB student interns pursuing degrees in science and biology. The students learned about fish rearing, data collection and water quality monitoring while serving the community.

“Our environmental science and graduate students have worked with the district on a large number of projects through the years,” said Dr. Doug Smith, department chair and professor in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy.

“The jobs our students get can commonly be traced to additional skills they learned or honed with the Water District,” Dr. Smith said.

Evan DeLay, a student in the professional science master’s program in Applied Marine and Watershed Science, is typical of the students who work with the district.

His degree program required him to serve an internship. DeLay chose to do that with the water management district as a water resources assistant. His duties include collecting water quality data at various locations along the Carmel River and analyzing temperature trends in the surface water.

DeLay worked with the fish rescue operation and is now reviewing film taken in the lower Carmel River to count how many steelhead move up and downstream.

Photo by Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
Student interns and Water Management District staff with “Big Red,” a fish rescue and transport vehicle. From left: Kevan Urquhart, Matt Lyons, Daniel Merino, Cory Hamilton, Mark Bekker, Evan DeLay, Mitchell Masuda and Kenneth Norberg