NFR Summer Jobs: Fish Intern or Fire Watcher?

#1
"It doesn't take much in the way of mind and body to be a lookout. It's mostly soul" says Norman Maclean. I was looking for summer jobs and applied to a number of internships and I am starting to hear back. So far I have an offer from U.S. Forest Service to be a Fire Lookout as well as an offer from South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks to intern as a creel surveyor (interviewing/counting anglers mostly on stocked lakes) both taking place here in the Black Hills of SD.

The problem is, is that I don't know which one would fit my summer better. Has anyone done either of these thing and can they offer any insight beyond a job description? Any info is greatly appreciated!
 
#4
Do you like to be still or do you prefer to move?
Can you talk to strangers or do you prefer quiet?
Short answer is yes to all of those. I spent 4 summers in high school and beginning of college tour guiding in a gold mine for the summers. Last summer I was in Alaska on a fishing boat. During school I deliver pizzas and sell bacon if that helps. This summer some extra quiet might be helpful as I am going to be fielding some phone appointments and calls for my brother's business.
 
#6
I just realized this didn't answer your question at all. I think both jobs would be fun for a young lad. I would lean towards creel study. Lookout might be pretty boring and not like the old days where fish creel you might be able to find a cool fishing spot:D
I spoke with the gentleman running those today, and the areas I would be surveying are three lakes. Two that are stocked "put and take" lakes for tourists and one that is mostly warm water from my understanding. The put and take lakes just got stocked with walleye when before they were trout lakes so that may be interesting to learn about!
 

jersey

livin' the dream
#7
Creel survey, in my option, will do you better long term. Communicating to and with people is a life long skill. This is a value added job. Plus bikini hatches are real.

Although, if you can double dip with your bro’ biz... phone sales is a skill as well. You can work remotely. No bikini hatches here though.

Sales guy here, for what it’s worth.
 
#8
Creel survey, in my option, will do you better long term. Communicating to and with people is a life long skill. This is a value added job. Plus bikini hatches are real.

Although, if you can double dip with your bro’ biz... phone sales is a skill as well. You can work remotely. No bikini hatches here though.

Sales guy here, for what it’s worth.
I thought you had me at bikini hatches, but you are right when you say sales experience will do me better long term than bikinis. I may want to work for the BLM so getting in with the Feds might not be bad either.
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
#12
How many years of college do you have left??

Once in the Federal employment system as a summer employee it is pretty simple to get other jobs. When I was in college I made a point of telling the National Forest that I wanted to get a different job and work elsewhere in the system. That worked out well. Did that three of four times.

Lookout is the one job I never did. Be sure you like being alone, and reading UNLESS you are close enough for tourists to visit. Then you became a visitor information person. Also being on a glass bottom chair in the middle of a lighting storm, must be an experience. Some pretty tough dudes, when I heard them on the radio after a lighting storm seemed a bit more humble.

As others mentioned, doing creel surveys is fun in that you get to speak to the public. And there is a lot to be said for the bikini hatch at lakes. I had a great job once on a NPS lake doing a carrying capacity study. It was fun and the bikini hatch was a great working environment.

I would go with the lookout. Something I tried to do for years and never got the chance. After be in there awhile be clear that you would like other experiences and jobs the following years. If it turns out to be a wet year....they might pull you off to do other things anyway.

Do you know what lookout you would be assigned to?? Look at it in Google earth.