Tuesday, September 12, 2006

trout in small places, close to home

Do you see the stream in this picture?

Here's a better view. That pool has to be all of four feet wide and a foot deep.

This is a small tributary to Sand Creek. Yes, the Sand Creek. A mile or so from my home, as the crow flies. Today I was fortunate enough to get paid to come to this creek and see if there were any brook trout in there. There were. :)

I am totally amazed. After yesterday, where we found two adult trout in a stream devastated by beaver, I was beginning to wonder about the tenacity of brook trout. They demand cool water, and gravel substrate on which to spawn. Water temperatures above 68 degrees are lethal. As are drought years, which we are definitely in. Parts of this little ditch-creek were so low we were walking on wet gravel. But still, the brook trout were there. Hallelujah!

Of course, this is very good news for Sand Creek, about a half mile downstream. The brook trout live and flourish and reproduce against all odds. I am in awe.


Lynne said...

That is so neat! Hasty Brook is a designated trout stream. I'd like to think that it's healthy enough to support trout too.

Laura said...

Lookin' good! Speaking of Sand Creek - any luck with your turbidity investigation?

Anonymous said...

That is cause for optimism and I too was wondering about the turbidity investigation...

I can't post here under my own name for the time being because of some glitch in Blogger Beta but fortunately you allow anonymous commentors.

Jim from Earth Home Garden

Floridacracker said...

Almost every encounter with fish leaves me in awe. They are such amazing animals.
From down here, it's sobering to think of water temps above 68 F to be lethal.

Obviously, we are troutless.

Hooray for that beautiful young trout!

Deb said...

lynne- I'll have to check with the Duluth Area Fisheries Office and see what I can find on Hasty Brook.

Laura and Jim- I haven't gotten too far, except to note that a lot of streams in this area seem to look the same way, so it may be a biochemical thing. But i also heard that there has been logging, clearcutting down to the stream, upstream recently...now what to do, and how to go about doing it...

FC- I find it amazing to see any fish, much less a trout, surviving in such conditions. I sometimes wonder if my job in fisheries "management" really does anything; I mean, they do a lot for themselves on their own. :{