A love for wildlife blossomed into a career path for one former Agassiz resident.
Megan Vander Wyk was recently awarded a $1,500 scholarship from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.
Vander Wyk grew up in Agassiz and has been interested in freshwater fishing since childhood, exploring the outdoors around the Fraser River since childhood. She is an undergraduate at the University of the Fraser Valley, working on her bachelor’s degree in ecology and biology of organisms.
“My passion for protecting wildlife and interest in recreational angling drove me to pursue a career in ecology and conservation. In fact, I chose this career path the moment I had my first experience with a white sturgeon on the Fraser River,” Vander Wyk said in a statement. “The species’ prehistoric morphology, history, and conservation concern is intriguing and has caused me to think more critically about our impacts on aquatic ecosystems and species. This scholarship will support my continued studies and my goal to work in fisheries management and conservation.”
Vander Wyk spent the past summer working as a junior fish culture technician at the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. Since 2008, the Freshwater Fisheries Society has awarded nearly $80,000 in scholarships to 48 students, five of which received scholarships in 2022.
“Spending time in these amazing ecosystems provides a great incentive for people to pursue studies in freshwater fisheries management, research and conservation. These students are passionate about their studies in part because they have firsthand experience regarding the importance of protecting these spaces,” said Tammy Longbottom, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC director of human resources. “We are pleased to support them in the pursuit of their educational goals and look forward to the positive impact their contributions will have.”
The Fisheries Society awards this scholarship in part as a way to address the growing demands of industries and job openings surrounding environmental and ecological priorities. Students throughout B.C. enrolled in recreational fisheries management, fisheries enhancement, conservation and research programs are eligible to apply.
Applicants can submit a video or written essay about their experience, interests and chosen field of study as well as how each of these aspects ties together to the larger goal of furthering B.C.’s freshwater fisheries initiative.
Created in 2003, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to hatching and stocking fish across the province. Freshwater fishing licence fees help fund the organization, and in turn, the society stocks 6 million trout, char and kokanee in the province’s 800 lakes.
To learn more, visit gofishbc.com.