Just because there’s no football on the Plains on Saturday, Oct. 17, that doesn’t mean you should stay away. The School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences invites you to enjoy a rare, uncongested fall Saturday in the Loveliest Village at its second annual Fisheries Expo and Field Day. Free and open to the public, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the E.W. Shell Fisheries Research Center on North College Street.
The expo will feature tours of facilities and ponds, food vendors with samples, children’s fishing and other activities, live music and presentations by faculty. The on-site fish market will also have extended hours for the event, so you can stock up on Auburn farm-raised fish and shrimp.
“Given the public’s enthusiastic response to the expo last year, when over 1,000 people attended, we were eager to make our field day into an annual outreach and education event for our school,” says Eric Peatman, an associate professor in the school and organizer of the event.
While you’re at the north Auburn complex, you will want to check out the newly installed interactive displays in the Center for Aquatic Resource Management’s visitor center. Learn about Alabama’s waterways and native aquatic species, and watch a few of those species swim in the center’s large aquarium.
The new displays, inspired by the hundreds of people who visit the center each year, help explain the work of Auburn’s school of fisheries in Alabama and around the world. The displays were made possible by a host of partners, including the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Farmers Federation Foundation, the Auburn/Opelika Tourism Bureau, Alabama Catfish Farmers and The Catfish Institute.
Two additional phases are planned before the visitor learning facility will be complete, with the second phase slated for installation in 2016.
“We also anticipate that we will be offering a fishing experience of some kind in the ponds adjacent to the visitor learning facility in the future,” says David Cline, an Extension Specialist with the school who, along with retired faculty members John Jensen and David Rouse, spearheaded the project.
The visitor center is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.