For the second week of the program, the interns performed more stream assessments (including trapping for juvenile salmon) and crab surveys in Koeye. They also collected data for a Dolly Varden stomach content analysis study and traveled to Namu to seine and tag sockeye salmon. Here’s what the interns have to say about the week:
During the tagging project it was my first time snorkeling other than in my tub when I was a little kid. I thought the wet suit was cool. I never wore one of those before, but it was really hard to get on and off. It was my workout of the day trying to put it on and off. While we were snorkeling it was cool to actually see some sockeye. I saw a lot of little juveniles and shiners and herring in Namu too. It was pretty cool when we caught all those fish on Thursday. We caught and tagged over 20 sockeye. I’d never witnessed fish being tagged before.
The stream survey in Cold Creek was really fun. Me, Louis and William were walking up the stream. We caught fish that day too in the g-traps. It was cool because it was like a regular stream walk until we got to the waterfall. It was epic. It looked like it went 50 feet up with a sheer drop off. At the base of the waterfall there was a pool that led to the main creek. It was super jagged and everything on the rocks. It was pretty cool. We sat at the waterfall for a half an hour watching the water fall. Then William looked up and saw massive trees. They were huge, prehistoric trees. Then we picked up the g-traps. There were 3 coho in the first trap that we set closest to the ocean. Then we went to Namu afterwards to go seining with the rest of the group. That was pretty cool. I saw tagged fish as we were coming into Namu that Will had just tagged.
Alright, unfortunately I kinda missed the first day and a half but everyone told me that on Monday night there was like a tropical storm and there was gale force winds with FIFTY FOOT SWELLS, and they called it… Hurricane LOUIS! hahahaha naw, I’m just yanking your chain, but all ridiculous lies aside, it was another fun, sun filled week at Kvai. Seriously, sooooo much sun it was awesome! The way I’ve tanned it looks like I’ve been out there for MONTHS!… and it’s only week 2. We even got to sedate Dolly Varden… never seen a drugged fish before. We used some stuff called “clove oil” and pumped their stomachs to see what they eat. We did more crab surveys and stream assessments which was alright. As a matter of fact me, Gene and House did a stream assessment at Cold Creek and I’ve gotta say, they don’t call it “Cold Creek” for nothing! I almost fell in, it wasn’t cool, but Gene did so that made me feel better. We got about 250/300 meters in and couldn’t get any further because we were stopped by a HUGE waterfall… alright it wasn’t “HUGE” but at least 25 feet. It was still pretty wicked!
Alright, that’s all for now. Stay tuned next week for another episode OF “Louis annnd… pals”… kay I haven’t really thought of a good name for it but I will, NEXT TIME!
I enjoyed the seining on Thursday. The dry suit helped out a lot instead of using the waders. We had people holding two lines on shore and one line tied to the boat still. The boat took the net out into the middle of the river and formed a “C”. The first set we went into the mouth of the river. When we were pulling it in to shore the lead line snagged up and Will had to keep going along the net and pulling it up off of the rocks. We didn’t catch any fish. We piled up back up in the boat and set it on the opposite shore. I floated all the way down the river to the new site. After the whole net was out, the boat dragged it to the shore and we had to close it like a basket. Will was screaming around about the fish we caught. We slowly started picking the sockeye out one by one and started tagging them.
Week 2 was awesome. The kids at Koeye camp got to watch and learn from us how to set the crab traps and how to fill out the crab survey sheets. It’s always fun to teach kids the work we do. Later in the week I got to watch Will tag fish. I also got to see what Dolly Varden eat which is gross but cool! 🙂 I hope to learn more as I go.