Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First day of work at Bill Williams River NWR

August 31, 2010, Bill Williams River NWR
We slept good the night before with both A/Cs running all night. We got up least early to us and walked over to the visitor center at 8:00. The staff had arrived at 6:30 a.m. even though the visitor center doesn't open till 8:00. We met some more staff to include the refuge Director, Dick Gilbert and one of our "handlers", Stan (I'm ashamed to say I don't know his last name).
Stan sat with us and briefly described our duties and advising we would be working a 3 day on and 3 day off schedule. He then gave us a tour of the facilities on foot.
Some or our duties include:
  • Maintaining and cleaning the peninsula trail and its 3 fishing docks every work day.
  • Trimming foliage
  • Repairing the landscape damage caused by water run-off
  • Power-washing the fishing docks once a week
  • Cleaning and stocking the pit style restrooms
  • Keeping a pond of endangered fish full
  • Feeding and maintaining an enclosure for a tortoise
  • Watering portions of the compound
  • Cleaning the visitor center and offices.
  • Cleaning and checking fluid levels on the vehicle fleet and taking them to town for scheduled maintenance
  • Maintaining the solar powered batterie banks throughout the complex and cleaning the solar panels
  • A big part of our responsibility is to be at the refuge after hours and on weekends and holidays as a security presence and to assist the public. The staff are only here Monday-Friday. The refuge, particularly the fishing docks are open 24 hrs. a day every day. 
Our heads were swimming with all that we were shown and told today. Joyce will be meeting with the volunteer coordinator, Leslie Denney tomorrow to learn about working in the visitor center. We were promised packets with contact information and more details regarding our responsibilities. After lunch Joyce and I worked on topping off the 10 solar battery boxes around the complex with distilled water.
We use an electric Gator to work around the refuge.

We finished up around 2:30 but we over did it. We both felt a bit dehydrated even though we were drinking water throughout the day. We are both task oriented and when given something to do we like to get it done! With temperatures over a hundred degrees and working in the doesn't take much to get dehydrated, develop heat stroke or heat exhaustion. In fact the staff told us later not to push it past 10:00 a.m. in the heat. We will remember that tomorrow and get an earlier start.
That evening we drove into Lake Havasu City for dinner and to do some grocery shopping. We had a very good dinner at a Mexican restaurant, Casa Serrano. Then went to Bashas' grocery store.
You know it's hot when they provide covered parking for a grocery!


  1. Looks really nice, standard desert terrain, which I love anyway. I hope all those duties aren't very hard as it sure seems like alot. Enjoy your stay, which I'm sure you will.

  2. I was about to say the same thing, I hope they space those duties out over the three days or you guys will be run ragged. The area looks great though so time will tell if it will turn out good. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. Hey, thanks for the comments and words of encouragement. It's been a busy first 3 days, but now we can rest up for a few days!