Educational Facilities And Programs At State Anti Federal Fish Hatcheries In The Southeastern United States

In 1977, a 5 page questionnaire was developed and sent to hatchery managers in I I southeastern states to characterize the status of current hatchery education programs. The survey indicated that approximately 1.4 million people visited the 55 hatcheries providing a unique opportunity to communicate directly with a large segment of the general public. A majority of the managers (98%) recognized the importance of public education and most (7 I%) felt that their current programs were in need of improvement. The programs relied heavily on self-guided tours, guided tours, an array of audiovisual aids, and publications. Although most managers (72%) felt they could justify increased budgetary allotments for educational program improvement, they did not expect increased funding. Integrating tours, audiovisual materials and publications into an effective program presenting an overview of the total fisheries management program will ultimately result in the greatest benefit to the agency and resource. In order to develop improved effective fisheries educational programs at government fish hatcheries, educational programs must be given a higher priority in terms offunding and manpower.

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