Gerry Romer, Steve Gillespie and I had the great fun of helping out with the brook trout restoration project on Lynn Camp and its tributaries on Monday. The day started out a little slow – our “official” participants got a late start because of some weather impacts but we quickly got down to work once everyone was assembled at the parking area above Tremont.
Steve got started in earnest first, rigging ropes to get equipment down to the bottom of the gorge at the base of the cascades. Gerry and I went with a group up to the Marks Creek trail and carried in the equipment for setting up “treating” stations at the upper end of Marks. Pretty good hike for a couple of codgers, led by two twenty-somethings from Oregon who are trail runners when they aren’t working for the Park Service. I only wish I had seen this upper section of Marks Creek before it was closed down – some beautiful little pools cascading down the mountain! We got the stations set up, ate a lunch and headed back down to Lynn Camp. From there we started what was reported to be a 900 meter fish shocking expedition. Gerry and I worked at carrying buckets, netting fish and Gerry got to carry a backpack frame with an empty container for porting the captured fish back downstream. They left the carrying of the full containers as well as the gas powered shockers to the younger, hunky park service and TWRA guys and we were glad to let them have it.
Most of the trout we captured were transported over to Thunderhead Prong along with some black-nosed dace. A few of the trout were kept to be put in a mesh cage to be used as the equivalent of coal mine canaries once the treatment starts on Wednesday. On a side note, there is a bear up in the Lynn Camp Prong area that really appreciates the cages of captured trout left for him in the river. Needless to say, Ranger Steve was not amused with the bear helping himself to these tempting morsels. We were advised that, if we ran into this bear, we were to pick up a large rock and try our best to knock him in the head with it (via throwing, I presumed). Funny, this wasn’t one of the responses I would have settled on in a quick moment of contemplation at encountering this hungry beast.
When Gerry and I got back down to the cascades, we were able to appreciate the fruits of Steve G’s efforts. A nice looking network of ropes down the side of the gorge and an assemblage of equipment was set up at the base of the cascades – maybe Steve can elaborate on the purpose of all this gear.
This was a great group of Park Service folks that we got to spend the day with. People from Oregon, Yellowstone, North and South Carolina (other places you guys remember Gerry and Steve?). Gerry and I worked our fannies off and, yet, they were still there at the end of the day. There was even time to wet a fly at the end of a long day of work. Lots of fun in support of a great project. Steve and Gerry, feel free to add in your two-cents worth on this report. Steve was planning on working three days on the project so I would be interested in reading what happened at today’s session.