Just because we rarely feature national fish hatcheries doesn’t mean they’re not important. Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery in Washington produces millions of upriver bright and Chinook salmon that are a vital part of the environment and economy of the area. Visitors to the hatchery can learn all about its operations and history, as well as try to catch their own fish in Drano Lake (be sure to follow state regulations). Challenging whitewater for expert kayakers is another available thrill. If that’s too much excitement for you, just relax by the clear waters and enjoy a beautiful fall day. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The violet light of sunset reflects on the water at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, while this great blue heron concentrates on its next meal. Great blue herons live year-round in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and spend most of their waking time fishing. Growing up to 4 feet tall with a wingspan of more than 6 feet, they are graceful birds flying through the air or wading in the water. Where is your favorite place to watch great blue herons and other birds? Photo by Kaila Ferrufino (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Glimpsed from Seattle, Washington, or viewed from up close, Mount Rainier at sunset is an incredible sight. Trails throughout Mount Rainier National Park offer amazing chances to take pictures of the mountain, walk through colorful wildflower meadows, hang out next to still alpine lakes and encounter fascinating wildlife. One visit might not be enough. Photo courtesy of Albert Yang.
It’s Manatee Appreciation Day! These gentle giants can grow to over 14 feet in length and weigh over 3,000 pounds. Also, known as “sea cows,” manatees feed on seagrasses and other aquatic plants. Today, the total population is estimated to be at least 13,000 manatees, with more than 6,500 in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. When aerial surveys began in 1991, there were only an estimated 1,267 manatees in Florida. Check out more fun facts about manatees: https://on.doi.gov/2fpJzxv Photo from Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Soaring above a maze of red canyons, the Fisher Towers are a dramatic sight along the Colorado River in Utah. A National Scenic Trail winds 2.2 miles around the stone pinnacles and climbs up to nearly 360 degree views. Experienced climbers can test their skills on the rock faces while less daring visitors can enjoy relaxing moments at the nearby Bureau of Land Management campsite. Pro-tip: clear nights offer incredible stargazing opportunities. Photo by Adam Jewell (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Join us in celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. From humble beginnings, our 16th President rose to become one of the most influential figures in American history. Learn about his life and legacy at some of our nation’s historic sites: https://www.doi.gov/blog/walk-footsteps-abraham-lincoln. Photo of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall & Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. courtesy of Drew Geraci.