Conservation Corner – On Science and Living Rivers


Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), photo from -National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories


One of the pleasures of retirement is having the time to explore the myriad interests that were superficially studied during the frenetic working years. My love of science has sparked deeper investigation into botany, entomology, genetics, and even virology! Yes, there is a fishing connection here. But back to virology. Like many Americans, I have waded through uncertainty, half-truths, and “a  miasma of anti-think,” in an attempt to better understand our coronavirus pandemic so I can stay alive, be a responsible citizen, and advise anxious family members. Thus, I have become an enthusiastic listener to the scientists of This Week in Virology (TWIV) podcast. These dedicated and very smart scientists and their guests answer (or let us know we do not yet have an answer) to the most salient information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And it just so happens that one of the regulars on the podcast is a serious fly fisher!



Dr. Despommier’s Deschutes redside


Dr. Dixon Despommier is an emeritus professor in Microbiology and Public Health at Columbia University’s Medical School. He and TWIV producer, Dr. Vincent Racaniello, developed The Living River website. Dr. Despommier’s love of rivers and fishing began in his childhood growing up near the Tenekill Brook in northeastern New Jersey. Like many of us who evolve our fly fishing pursuits, he has ventured to faraway fishing destinations and spends quality time at his tying bench. His passion for science and rivers has been distilled in The Living River. He hopes the information on his website “will inspire others to become involved in the stewardship of their homewaters.” It is a beautiful site chock full of river ecology and beautiful photos. On the links page you will find some fun, geeky websites like The Society of Freshwater Science (I’ll bet Rick Hafele hangs out here!) and The Ecological Society of America. This one is my favorite – check out the amazing photos at Jan Hamrsky’s site,

Have fun and believe in science,

Lisa Hansen