Killing invasive fish to save frogs!

August, 2018

Thanks to my mentor Dirk, at the end of July I was able to go out on a backpacking trip with 2 fish biologists from the forest service. With 3 other ladies from California fish and wildlife, we hiked 16 miles to Stella Lake. This lake is right on the eastern border of Yosemite and is right on the PCT! The purpose of this trip was to continue an ongoing project called the high mountain lakes project that is designed to remove fish from alpine lakes in order to help restore populations of the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog. This frog is endangered due to a combination of factors including predation by invasive fish and due to outbreaks of the Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Our team spent a week at Stella putting in gill nets in order to catch and remove rainbow and brook trout. During our time up at the lake, there was an active forest fire in Yosemite called the Ferguson fire. This made the visibility pretty awful and sometimes made breathing a little difficult.

I really valued my time with these women because they didn’t mind me asking all of the questions that I could think of! I learned so much about the project and about their jobs in general. I am very grateful that this internship has allowed me to meet such a diverse group of people.

Dawne Emery and Rachel Van Horne out on Stella Lake, setting up the gill nets.

Making me feel like I’m back in the Rockies! This Alpine Gentian looks an awful lot like the Arctic Gentian that I sought out in CO.

Thanks to the high mountain lakes project, we found frogs all around this lake and didn’t spot any fish!

Marmot friend 🙂

Bee enjoying Ranger’s button (Sphenosciadium capitellatum)

Zoë Moffett

US Forest Service, Sparks NV

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