Virtual Field Day

Are you up for an adventure? We are if you are! Before we get started: any outdoor activities that we show you how to do must be done with a parent or guardian. We want you to have fun and to have fun safely. 

The Stations

The Stations

1. Fish Identification

2. Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

3. Noxious Weeds

4. Aquatic Invasive Species


  1. Get your Virtual Field Day journal ready. (Or download it here if you need.) 
  2. For each station, watch the video then answer the journal questions.
  3. Repeat for all four stations.
  4. Sketch your answers into the final page of your journal. Or you can do this after each video.
  5. Share your work with your teacher or a guardian, to show them what you learned!

And now, open up your Field Day journal and begin with the fish identification station.

1. Fish Identification

Let’s spend some time with the people who count fish for a living! Though that’s not all they do, they invited us along for this fun part of their job. Learn about fish identification while they show us what they do, why they do it in this video.

For more information about some of the fish species featured in the video, go check out Montana Fish Wildlife & Park’s fish identification site here:

Now that you’ve watched the video, open your Virtual Field Day journal and record your answers for the Fish Identification questions. Then go watch the next video to find out more about what those fish eat. It’s certainly not ice cream…or is it?

2. Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

Remember all those fish you saw in the last video? Well, in this video we learn about what types of bugs, or macroinvertebrates, they eat.

For a closer look at Matt’s dichotomous key (or to follow along with him), click on this link: Dichotomous Key (courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension).

Now that you’ve watched the video, open your Virtual Field Day journal and record your answers forthe aquatic macroinvertebrate questions. Then go take a little break…maybe do five jumping jacks? Twirl in five circles? Drink five gulps of water? Your choice! But make sure to come back and watch the next video.

3. Noxious Weeds

Let’s transition onto land for a little visit from a few local weeds here in Montana. As you watch, think about this: can you remember ever seeing these weeds in your area? Noxious weeds like spotted knapweed, perennial pepperweed and leafy spurge are a big problem and you’re about to find out why.

Have a weed in your yard you can’t identify? Check out this website for some help:

Now that you’ve watched the video, open your Virtual Field Day journal and record your answers for the Noxious Weeds questions. Then take a big stretch and get ready for the final video!

4. Aquatic Invasive Species

Now that you’ve learned about terrestrial weeds, let’s take a final dive back into the water to learn about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Learn why they’re bad for our streams and lakes, how they are moved around, and what we can do to keep our waters protected! As you watch the video, listen closely for the three magic words that prevent the spread of AIS.

And if you recreate with any kind of watercraft, from standup paddleboard to a big ol’ motorized boat, make sure you visit this website so you know how to do your part:

Now that you’ve watched your final video, open your Virtual Field Day journal and record your answers for the Aquatic Invasive Species questions. Next, show us your creative side by sketching a fish, a macroinvertebrate, a spotted knapweed plant, and something of yours that an AIS could hitchhike on.


Thanks for your participation!

And don’t forget to protect your waters! Clean, drain and dry after you recreate on the water.

We’d also like to thank all of our partners who worked hard to create such cool video content for us to show you. In no particular order, they are:

Megan Hoyer of Yellowstone County Weed District
Pam Schwend of Carbon County Weed District
Connie Weston of Sweetgrass County Weed District
Scott Opitz, Morgan Jacobson and Matt McCormack of MT Fish Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Clint Sestrich of US Forest Service Custer/Gallatin National Forest District.

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