Throughout my life I have always had a bond with fishing, especially saltwater fishing. It was what I did after school, on weekends and nearly every chance I had. Once it was time to choose my career path it was obvious what I wanted to do: Be a professional fisherman. Well, then I stopped dreaming and decided it was time to make a real choice. Not knowing how to find a path that would lead me to a job doing what I love, I began to explore options of jobs in the outdoors. I entertained ideas of being a game warden, fishing guide, and other jobs that would allow me to be on the water. Finally, my brother in-law (a former Warnell graduate) informed me of the fisheries program offered at Warnell. Now, surely I have no more problems for my future education right?? WRONG.
After finishing junior college and transferring into Warnell I began to realize how great my decision was to join this great school. While I was beginning to learn the basics of fisheries management and methods I began to notice that saltwater fish and fisheries were not as highly studied as our freshwater fisheries. This really made me focus even harder in class to be able to apply the methods and management practices to saltwater fisheries. Asking around as to why we don’t have more saltwater influences in Warnell and have been given a few answers such as the ocean is too far away from Athens.
Warnell has many great opportunities for students to gain a great education, but it’s not always exactly what you need for the career you want to pursue. I have made the most of my experience at Warnell by applying and working in internships on the coast to gain working experience for future marine fisheries jobs. I hope in the future, with an increased interest in marine studies that Warnell will expand the Fisheries and Wildlife major by adding a little bit of SALT to our fisheries program.