Great River Birding Festival

MIKE DAVIS, MN DNR Mississippi River Ecologist

Enchanted with the Mississippi River as a child, I have lived and worked on, under or near the river ever since. Over the past 30 years I have employed myself as a commercial fisherman, furtrapper, clam harvester and farmer. Since 1987 I have been working for the Mississippi as an ecologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

I have been a frequenter of the river Bottoms since the early 1960s. I lived in a cabin on an island near Weaver, MN for several years, my youngest son was born there in 1978. A doctor from Wisconsin came by boat to deliver him, and we fed him muskrat stew for supper.

In 1985 I turned to harvesting river clams (mussels) since they were worth more per pound than carp. That was a turning point; I found them so interesting that I began thinking of returning to my earlier pursuit of a Biology degree. In 1986 I graduated from Winona State University with a B.S. degree in biology and began work with the MN DNR.

My personal connection with the river continues as two of my children live in floating houses near Winona, MN and my granddaughter Moxie was born in one this past November.

The Mississippi River Valley is as near and dear to my heart as any place on Earth.

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