Wednesday, October 05, 2005

rain, and more rain

I'm sitting in the office instead of going out doing field work because for about the 26th hour straight, it's raining. I have never seen this much rain in Minnesota at one time, especially this time of year. Some parts to the south recorded 9 inches! Interstate 35, the main corridor from the Twin Cities to Duluth, is closed in some areas due to flooding. The Hermit, who is now the official Keeper of the Rain Gauge for our township, recorded 1.95 inches from 5 pm Monday to 5 pm Tuesday; I don't know what the running total is thus far for today because the gauge has an outer chamber that empties into the inner chamber that has the measuring marks. The outer chamber appears to be nearly full, and it's still raining.

Sand Creek, usually a slow flowing stream, is a raging torrent, as are all of the other streams around here. Our pond, which had been down a foot or more from the drought in August, is full and flowing out through the overflow culvert; I'm not sure if there is a connection to Sand Creek but if there is, we may get some more fish colonizing the pond.

I'm wishing the rain would have held off a while yesterday, because my coworker, the Stream Guy, had the idea of taking the backpack electrofishing unit and sampling the small tributary that enters Sand Creek just upstream from our land. They have found brook trout there before, and this time of year adults could be moving into the tributaries to spawn. We drove up there but unfortunately were rained out.

As we were driving along the road near the tributary, I saw what I think may have been a great gray owl. I didn't have my binoculars with me, but I saw a large bird with the general silhouette of an owl perched in the top of a dead tamarack. It was still there ten minutes later when we drove by the spot again. This is near where I saw a great gray owl in May, indicating that it could have stayed around for breeding season.


the dharma bum said...

I hope you let us (me) know if you find brook trout. That'd be very cool. Did you ever catch what you thought was a trout munching on grasshoppers?

Deb said...

Oh, there are definitely brook trout in Sand Creek, and I think they sampled this litle trib once before and found some. I've been digging up some historical info on Sand Creek lately at work, and it's pretty interesting. I'll post about it when I get the time.

No, I never went grasshopper fishing. :( And it's a designated trout stream, so I suppose that wouldn't look too good if I went now, and the C.O. happened to drive by and see me, a DNR employee, fishing out of season...oh well, at least I did buy a trout stamp this year!