Fire on the Mountain, Lightning in the Air

The past month has been filled with fires, lightning, and unpredictable weather. One day it’s hot, the next day it’s perfect. One minute it’s pouring down rain, the next it seems like there’s been no precipitation for months. Luckily, it seems like the fires have calmed down a bit, although there are still a few in the area and some smoke in the sky making the world glow red at sunset. The fires have stayed relatively far away, although some road closures from one prevented us from getting to one of our sites for a few days. Otherwise, work has become relatively routine. Monitoring water quality, checking for live and dead fish, and working on a report of our propagation methods has become the day-to-day. This is broken up by evening trips out to the lake when the dissolved oxygen drops to turn on the aeration systems as well as a trip to Lakeview, Oregon to help out with Modoc sucker surveys. We’ve also sampled one net at each site to get a feel for how many of our fish are our target species. To do this, we simply pulled a net out and pushed the water and fish to one end, then lifted the net above the water, giving us a nice view of the fish. At one site it looks like we have about 100 Lost River suckers and a few hundred minnows in the sampled net, and at the other site we have only about 10 Lost River suckers and a few hundred minnows.

 

Measuring fish from the nets.

Measuring fish from the nets.

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I’m glad we have some suckers, although out of the thousands we put in, the numbers are extremely low, and we still have another month or so for them to hang on until we tag and release them. The minnows are another unfortunate result, but there’s really no way of keeping everything out of the nets while still allowing water and nutrients to circulate in and out of the nets, so we just have to deal with it.

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