Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stubborn as a Mule

The mules all loaded up for the hike out
The past two weeks have been.... interesting. Last week was our first stint using horses and mules. It was a long and tiring hike, but the view was unbelievable!
Dan riding "Red" the horse and leading "Gomer" and "Rachel"
Camp: Desmond, Dan, and My Tents & the Mules!

The hikes have been long, about 6-10 miles in, camp, electroshock (usually about another 4-6 miles), then hike back out. The work is tiring, and when one teammate isn't fully "into it" it gets very frustrating. Needless to say, I am excited to start a new job!

Big Ol' Bull Trout
We finally caught our first big bull trout! A 20 incher! We also caught a bunch of our target size (150 mm). We look for the small Young of the Years to determine if the stream we are sampling has a spawning population. If we find the bigger fish it doesn't necessarily mean they can survive in the stream they could have just migrated in and are just hanging out eatin some delicious macroinvertebrates.

Mom and I before Zippin!
Mom came for her birthday weekend, it was so good to see her! We went for a hike, we summited Couch summit (7000 ft), sat in some hot springs, shopped (of course), and Zip Lined!

I officially accepted my position in Oregon this week! Andrew and I also found a place to live! I move in  on August 15th, and Andrew moves in as soon as he is done Looning!

So.... Pacific City, Oregon here I come! Yahoo!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Hard Week Pays Off

Dan and My Nasty Feet After the Hike
This week was a tough one...we hiked 28 miles in two days. The hiking was gorgeous, yet HOT! We were placing thermographs (data loggers that store 2 months of temperature data from the streams we place them in) in 3 streams that are in a recent burn area. A lightning storm a year or two back completely altered the forest system so the thermographs are a means to monitor the change the streams are undergoing in response to the fire. As of right now we still have one stream to tackle, but after 28 miles, 6 popped blisters, one cranky attitude, and one pulled hip flexor, we decided to take a day or two before hiking our final 8 miles.

After we were tired and exhausted, I returned to cell phone service and had a voicemail waiting for me... it was from the job in Oregon I was hoping for! I was so excited! I called back, and BAM! I have a job for the fall!! I am part of the Coastal Chinook Salmon Research and Monitoring Project! I start August 16th, just 4 days after my internship ends here in Idaho, yikes! I will be stationed out of Pacific City, Oregon until mid December. The project's main goal is to gather population estimates of Chinook salmon via Mark/Recapture. I will be kayaking/pontooning down the rivers looking for salmon, then using a weir to capture them, mark them, then release them.

I am so excited! More to come later I am sure!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Montana Fourth of July!

Kim, Jon, and I in front of the Madison River
This Fourth was awesome! A "fly fishing" trip in Big Sky, Montana! I stress the fly fishing, because we really didn't fish all that much or catch all that much! My friend from college, Kim and her friend from work, Jon drove out to Fairfield to pick me up. We then ventured out towards Big Sky to visit my good friend from home, Nick. We fished the mighty Madison... and I caught... a tree! I did learn a lot though, and have caught the fly fishing bug! This weekend, my coworker Dan and I might fish a few rivers here in the Sawtooth's. Hope everyone had a fun Fourth!

Much Love!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy July!

Desmond and I Measuring the Fishes

The last 10 days have been a blast! June 21st through the 23rd Desmond, Dan, and I went down to the Minidoka District in Southern Idaho for a 3 day shocking/camping expedition! It was gorgeous! We didn't see many fish however, but we did spot two bull moose feeding next to a cabin!
One of the bull's we saw in Minidoka!
Dan, Desmond, and I in the Minidoka District, ID
Gazing out at the City of Rocks
Thursday was a "work day," which means all of the crews went up to the Shake Creek Work Station where the Fire Crew and Weed Crew are stationed and built a stock fence ALL DAY. I have never been so sore, but I had to keep up with the boys (even show them up a little) because I was the only woman there save two "higher-ups." (Insert Girl Power statement here... ha!) It was a satisfying day however, there is a certain satisfaction to working hard, sweating, and then seeing a finished product! With all the crews together we got the fence almost completed! The fire guys would have had to do it all themselves, and would have taken them all summer.
After the hard week of work, you think all I would want to do was sleep... but Andrew was flying in that night! I was so amped up I drove home from the work day while Dan and Des slept!
Andrew and I sitting in Worswick Hot Springs!

Andrew and I had a great weekend, I took him up to the town of Ketchum in Sun Valley (skiers delight) and we had pizza and a brew or two and hiked around in the Ketchum district of the Sawtooth Range. We camped Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in 3 different places, it was a blast! It was hard saying goodbye, I won't see him for a month and a half! Yikes!
This week was full of shocking, rainbow trout, and bear tracks! Monday and Wednesday were pretty average sampling days, but Tuesday we hiked into our sites, for a grand total of 5 miles.. not too bad... minus we were in waders and had all our sampling gear (very heavy!). It was fairly successful however, we found no bull trout, which is good for that site... it is very close to a cattle allotment (not so good for the streams, a lot of nutrient and sediment loading). We caught mostly rainbow's and sculpins, all under 200mm. We did have some excitement as we hiked out, fresh bear tracks and scat! It wasn't there when we hiked in... so as I had the food pack, I took care to make a lot of racket with my live well and net so as to frighten off the bear, just in case!
Bear Track with Cliff Bar for Measurement

This Fourth of July is going to be so awesome! My friend Kim from school is driving out to Fairfield from Oregon and we are going to fish and roadtrip out to Montana to stay with our friend Nick and his family! We will be 2 miles from Big Sky and will be fishing the Madison River. Hope to come back with lots of big fish pictures!

Happy America Day everyone! Try not to be too american ;)