Sunday, June 7, 2009


One of the absolute best weekends ever! I went to Montana to play in a tournament with some awesome people (the Flycoons). There is way to much awesomeness to write about here (my computer may crash, your computer may crash, this website may crash, or some strange combination of the three if I put it all into words). Let's just say I was shown an excellent time and feel like I have twenty new friends.

Word of the weekend: Awkweird
Product of the weekend: George Dickel Whiskey
Resultant quote of the weekend: "A little Dickel do her."
People of the weekend: Lampshade, Hugh, A-Lo, and JR

Thursday, June 4, 2009


In the morning we ate breakfast, drank black coffee (so naturally I felt like a badass), continued sampling for a couple of hours and picked up the copious amounts of trash around the lake (unfortunatley most was fishing related). Ian caught one steelhead, while the rest of us were left wanting.

What did we find? Basically, bass are on the rise and steelhead are falling. Boo. Options? Possiblity of getting more fishermen to fish out the bass and/or gill net for bass, and restock the steelhead. There are, however, downsides to stocking wilderness lakes with fish that were never naturally there. It adds more visitor pressure to the area and changes things from "pristine" to disturbed. There are also ecosystem shifts that result that are still poorly understood.

I do not remember what went on after we packed up and hiked out. The rest of the day paled in comparison to the trip to the lake!


Time to play catch up...

Today was the beginning of the two best days of "work" ever.

First, we did some Port Orford Cedar surveying. Port Orford Cedars have recently (in the lsat couple of decades) been deccimated by a root disease caused by a fungal pathogen. Recently, a resistant strain of POC was found and an experiment was set up to see just how resistant they are. So we surveyed a couple of hundred trees on several treatment plots to see which trees have survived or perished since they were planted by volunteers a year ago.

Then, four of us from the Forest Service and one guy from ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) hiked into Babyfoot Lake to do some fish "monitoring." An explanation of the quotes to come... Babyfoot is a mountain lake located in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, west of Cave Junction. The Kalmiopsis was engulfed by the Biscuit Fire back in 2002, so it is just starting to rebound from that disturbance and there are thousands of standing dead pine (pictured below) that eerily hung over us for the easyish mile and a half hike in. Babyfoot is (I believe) the only stocked lake in the Kalmiopsis. It was stocked with steelhead several years ago by the local chapter of the Steelheaders Club. These members (the youngest of which is something like 48 years old, but most being in their sixties) carried one year old smolts in five gallon buckets full of water and ice strapped to their chests all the way to the lake. Ian told me that one stocking year there was a foot of snow on the trail and another was swelteringly hot. Impressive. Anyway, sometime recently someone took it upon themselves to bring largemouth bass into the lake the same way and do a little stocking of their own. Unfortunately, the bass can outcompete the steelhead and also predate upon them, so dramatically decrease the steelhead population.

We came to the lake to deduce some things about the status of the two fish populations, to see if the bass population is increasing or decreasing and if it may need to be eradicated, and to see if it would be wise to further stock the lake with steelhead. Luckily, our sampling method consisted of fishing with rod and reel. We arrived at the lake around 5:00 pm, set up camp, and began sampling for the next three hours. Much to the two girls' chagrin, Ian and I were the only ones who caught anything. Ian caught one steelhead while I caught one steelhead and seven bass. The steelhead were recorded and, of course, released. The bass were kept, filleted, cooked in flour and butter, and eaten. Steve (the ODFW guy) brought all manner of goodness to eat as well. He brought a fillet of salmon, a hunk of elk, and some cheap corned beef hash (all of which was cooked over the fire). The bass may have actually been the best of all, but it was all awesomely delicious and an excellent way to finish an excellent day.