Archive for July, 2011

Week 4 and 5 update

Thoughts from Dennine

Recording rockfish data with William

Hey, it’s Dennine. We just got back from our fourth week out at Goose Island, and so far I think it can’t get any better. There are many parts that I enjoy, but the best part is either hiking through the forest looking for deer pellets or going fishing and taking muscle samples, then eating the fish after that haha. We are also taking on our own projects for the last few weeks, and I’m going to look into doing research on the deer population so, I’m really looking forward to the next four weeks out at Goose.

Taking a break from collecting insect traps

Notes from Richard

Hi, this is Richard. I really enjoyed getting back out there this week and settling back in. We spent a lot of time setting and collecting insect traps. Aside from the bug traps being smelly, I enjoyed getting them. It was fun picking out the live insects one by one.

Holding bait for an insect trap

I also enjoyed jogging up the lagoon and setting G-traps in the creek. We caught a lot of stickleback and a beetle.

Collecting one of the fish traps

I also enjoyed getting the trail cameras and going through the pictures. There weren’t any wolves on the camera yet, but there were a lot of deer.

A doe approaches the camera

We spent most of one day doing a deer pellet survey across Gosling Island. The highlight of the day was trying to make deer calls with grass and then actually hearing a deer responding in the bush. I can’t wait to get back out there again and enjoy that rain!

Notes from Louis

Setting a fish trap

Hey, this is Louis from Bella Bella. I was super stoked to get back to Goose this week. I have no complaints. Everything we’re doin’ is hella fun. Well sure the bug traps baited with rotten meat were a little smelly and the sea lions didn’t exactly smell like roses – I didn’t care. It comes with the job. The deer pellet surveys were a real workout and were a lot of fun. Who doesn’t enjoy running through the bush lookin’ for poop? haha what did you think “deer pellet surveys” were? Well all poop aside for a second, we saw a wolf this week which was really big cause that was our first wolf sighting there. There’s wolf sign all over the islands like tracks and wolf muck but this was the first actual sighting so that was pretty sweet. Even got to eat a crazy looking fish (a cabezon), it looked like it came straight out of the Discovery Channel or that “River Monsters” show. I’ve really enjoyed work so far and I’m looking forward to the next 5 weeks of Goose Island.

Sinking in the mud during an eel grass survey

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Week 3 update: July 11 – July 15

Thoughts from Dennine

Hey, it’s Dennine. We just got back from our third week out at Goose Island, and so far I think it can’t get any better. There are many parts that I enjoy, but the best part is either hiking through the forest looking for deer pellets or going fishing and taking muscle samples, then eating the fish after that haha. We are also taking on our own projects for the last few weeks, and I’m going to look into doing research on the deer population so, I’m really looking forward to the next four weeks out at Goose.

Notes from Richard

Hi, this is Richard. I really enjoyed getting back out there this week and settling back in. We spent a lot of time setting and collecting insect traps. Aside from the bug traps being smelly, I enjoyed getting them. It was fun picking out the live insects one by one. I also enjoyed jogging up the lagoon and setting G-traps in the creek. We caught a lot of stickleback and a beetle. I also enjoyed getting the trail cameras and going through the pictures. There weren’t any wolves on the camera yet, but there were a lot of deer. We spent most of one day doing a deer pellet survey across Gosling Island. The highlight of the day was trying to make deer calls with grass and then actually hearing a deer responding in the bush. I can’t wait to get back out there again and enjoy that rain!

Notes from Louis

Hey, this is Louis from Bella Bella. I was super stoked to get back to Goose this week. I have no complaints. Everything we’re doin’ is hella fun. Well sure the bug traps baited with rotten meat were a little smelly and the sea lions didn’t exactly smell like roses – I didn’t care. It comes with the job. The deer pellet surveys were a real workout and were a lot of fun. Who doesn’t enjoy running through the bush lookin’ for poop? haha what did you think “deer pellet surveys” were? Well all poop aside for a second, we saw a wolf this week which was really big cause that was our first wolf sighting there. There’s wolf sign all over the islands like tracks and wolf muck but this was the first actual sighting so that was pretty sweet. Even got to eat a crazy looking fish (a cabezon), it looked like it came straight out of the Discovery Channel or that “River Monsters” show. I’ve really enjoyed work so far and I’m looking forward to the next 5 weeks of Goose Island.

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Week two update: July 4 – July 8

Well here we are back in Bella Bella after our first week out on the Goose Island Group. We arrived on Snipe Island off the south end of Goose just before the rain and wind picked up on Monday morning. We spent the day setting up camp with the rain motivating us to put up the tents and tarps in record time! By dinner we were settling in nicely to our home base for the next
seven weeks.Christina smiles for the camera during an intertidal study

On Tuesday morning we finally got to get our hands dirty in our fieldwork. We stayed on Snipe and performed intertidal surveys while the tide was low and the weather was still too poor to travel. After collecting their specimens, the interns sought shelter from the rain under a tarp and poured over guidebooks to identify all of the species that they had collected. Later that afternoon we joined the Coastwatch field crew to complete our first deer pellet survey across the island.Crashing through the Salal during a deer pellet survey

On Wednesday morning the tides and weather still dictated that we stay on Snipe. We used compasses and GPS units to map out the eelgrass beds around the island. Late in the afternoon the wind finally died down and the sun came out, so the entire Goose Island crew piled into the punt to enjoy the weather and to get to know the rest of the area that we will be studying.Louise sizes up his hand next to a wolf print

This week we also hiked through the lagoon at low tide to set up trail cameras. We saw lots of deer tracks and a large doe, along with fresh wolf tracks. Hopefully our cameras will catch some wolf and deer activity! We’ll be checking the cameras each week and moving them to new locations periodically.Christina installs a trail camera in the lagoon

Dennine logs a sea otter sighting

The last piece of research that we began this week was our marine mammal survey. We will be recording all our marine mammal sightings throughout the summer, as well as performing weekly counts of the Steller sea lions on the Gosling rocks.Richard counts sea lions from the boat

Despite the poor weather for the first half of the week, it was definitely a successful trip. I’m quite impressed with how hearty and hard-working each of the interns is. And there’s no way I can complain about ending a long day of work with fresh halibut (thanks, Dennine) or fresh deer (thanks, Jordan). I can’t wait to get back out into the field with everyone on Monday morning!

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Week one update: June 24 – July 1

This past week the conservation interns joined the Koeye camp staff for leadership training. Sierra Club BC kindly sponsored two facilitators, Jenny Groves and Simon Hocking, to work with us. On Monday Jenny kicked off the week and broke the ice by showing us several new games – you can imagine the laughter that took place playing things called “Muck Muck” and “Big Booty.” Throughout the rest of the week we braved (and sought shelter from) the cold and pouring rain as Jenny and Simon taught us many new skills in communication, positive leadership, conflict resolution, and canoe safety.

We also spent time with Collin, a member of the Coastwatch field crew. We paddled upriver so Collin could show us one of Coastwatch’s bear hair snares. The interns stood rapt as he described the details of the project and started inquiring if they could take part during the fall field season. After lunch, Collin taught us how to use the Coastal Guardian Watchmen monitoring cards so we will be ready to use them when we start getting out on the water more next week.

Collin shows the interns bear fur from a snare

Thanks to Sierra Club BC and Jenny and Simon for making this week possible!

Next stop: Goose Island!

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