But even with high water we were able to catch a reasonable number of telescope and scarlet shiners today. We even netted a lamprey (brook?) and a sawfin shiner. While we were seining an installed drift net captured a surprising amount of material, including large number of springtails and pycnogonid spiders.
The creek was over the bridge in a small rivulet. You can see it in the middle of this picture:
James did the honors with the water chemistry testing today. The pH was 7.0 compared to a typical value of about 7.8, the result of dilution by lots of rain.
Here's Andrew ready for action with the seine, attired in a snappy World of Warcraft sweatshirt.
Andrew set up and emptied the drift net, shown in the photo below. The heavy tomato stakes I got for staking the net into the stream bed aren't up for heavy flow days like today. But Andrew got the net installed in an area of lesser flow, even with a floppy tomato stake. The water he's standing in looks mild, but the flow rate was probably 12-15 knots. In the riffles it was much rougher, and deeper.
And finally, here's a view of the primary riffle site. It doesn't look like much with the high water, but the scours were even more pronounced than normal. Water was probably almost a meter higher on Monday, I would guess, based on the wrack lines up the banks. In truth this is probably closer to what the stream should look like given normal rains, which we haven't had for several years.
And if you were wondering, the darters were all colored up today. We found a species I've never encountered at this site before, the stripetail darter, Etheostoma flabellare
. The fish was an adult male in breeding condition, including the egg mimics on top of each spine in the first dorsal. Neither James nor Andrew had seen one before, so they were suitably impressed. The egg mimics seem to entice females to spawn, since females are stimulated by the presence of eggs in a male's nest under a mussel shell, for instance. For that matter, I'm suitably impressed too!