|KINGMAN, Ariz. — The majestic bighorn
sheep of Arizona will be the feature presentation on
consecutive weekends at the Arizona Game and Fish
Department's Kingman regional office.
Bighorn Sheep Workshop offers wildlife enthusiasts an
opportunity to learn about these sure-footed animals and
view them in their native habitat during two separate
two-day workshops on July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5.
The first day of each workshop involves mandatory
classroom education from 6-8 p.m. at the Kingman Game
and Fish office, followed the next day by a field trip
on the Colorado River from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The
sheep-viewing boat trip will depart from Willow Beach.
These popular workshops are open to the public, but
space is limited to 40 people per session. Preference
will be given to those who have not attended the
workshop in the last two years, but those who have
participated are still encouraged to apply for a spot.
"We want to reach as many people as possible, and
that's difficult with only 80 open spaces over two
weeks," said Zen Mocarski, public information officer in
Kingman. "But, if space is available, those who have
participated can make the trip again."
Opportunity To Tour Willow Beach Fish Hatchery
This year's workshops will include an opportunity to
tour the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Willow Beach
National Fish Hatchery prior to the Colorado River field
trip. The 45-minute tour will begin at 9 a.m. and will
feature both sport fish and endangered native fish.
Those attending will view feeding and will have the
opportunity to feed the fish themselves.
"We're always looking for ways to improve the
workshop," Mocarski said. "The hatchery tour is not
mandatory to attend the workshop, but it does offer
people a chance to see the inner-workings of a
Chester Figiel, manager of the hatchery, believes
those taking the tour will enjoy the experience.
"I think people will enjoy this tour and learning
about the endangered species we have on site," Figiel
said. "I look forward to the opportunity to show the
public what we have and what we do."
To reserve a spot, a $20 refundable deposit per
person is required in the form of a check made out to
Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation to help reduce the
problem of no-shows. The money is refunded when a person
either attends the workshop or calls to cancel at least
48 hours in advance.
Wildlife for Tomorrow is a non-profit group that
works closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Registration is by mail only. Send the check to Sheep
Workshop, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5325 N.
Stockton Hill Road, Kingman, AZ 86409. Include the
names of participants, address, phone, and specify which
weekend is preferred. Also, please include a note if you
are interested in the tour of the fish hatchery.
Cash donations, which are not mandatory to
participate, will be accepted at the workshop to help
offset increasing costs for boat rentals and fuel.
Please do not send cash donations prior to the event.
Nobody under 14 years old will be registered for the
event. Participants are encouraged to bring water,
snacks, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
"It will be hot on the river," Mocarski advises, "but
that's when bighorn come down for a drink. There is
limited shade on the boats, but the temperatures will be
well into triple digits."